One of the grim signs underscoring the utter corruption of the American political environment is the ongoing tuneful and vapid contest between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney to win the heart of the Zionist state of Israel.
The two are behaving like determined political whores, hell-bent on wining the biggest show on earth, without the slightest concern for or compunction about the moral price of their obscene embrace of the Jewish golem.
Israel is undoubtedly a crime against humanity; this is what it essentially was when the brat was misbegotten 64 years ago, and this is what it has always been ever since, a diabolical entity living and thriving on aggression, bellicosity and war.
Indeed, the fact that almost every American politician, let alone the President of the Republic, feels obliged to grovel at Israel’s feet, or else commit political suicide, illustrates the moral degeneration corroding America’s collective conscience.
Alas! How could 320 million Americans, considered among the smartest in the world, have allowed a few rich Jews to eviscerate America of its soul and moral values, so much so that the country of Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, and Washington, has effectively succumbed to the harlot, becoming a willing whore eager to serve and appease the rapacious Jewish pimp?
John Winthrop dreamed of a shining city on a hill, must be turning in their graves, seeing their country teetering under the evil Jewish yoke, a yoke that has morphed America from a shining city on a hill, into a Goliath sword, spreading evil, oppression and death everywhere.
This weekend, President Obama signed a new U.S.-Israel pact, granting the Nazi-like Jewish entity a virtual carte blanche to arrogate, free of charge, all the secrets of American technology in order to achieve more territorial expansion and military aggrandizement at the expense of its poor and weak neighbors.
Likewise, Romney, who didn’t utter a single word about the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians by fanatical and genocidal Jewish settlers, defecated and urinated from his mouth, telling rapacious, self-absorbed Israeli leaders that he was all the way with Israel soul & heart, whether Israel was right or wrong.
In a brazenly sycophantic speech in West Jerusalem on Sunday, 29 July, he vilified Iran, Hamas, and Hezbullah.
He even criticized the Arab Spring, including the new Islamist president. As expected, he heaped praise on the Zionist entity, lauding its “democratic values and freedom of press. ”
“I love this country, I love America, I love the friendship we have,” Romney stated as he concluded his speech.
He said the US under his leadership would never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.
He didn’t utter a word about Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal, which is widely thought to include 250-300 nuclear weapons, including bombs and warheads.
Likewise, he didn’t mention a single word about the Palestinian plight, .e.g. Israel’s decapitation of the so-called two-state solution.
Earlier, he told an Israeli newspaper, that the US would continue to give Israel a preferential treatment.
“I would treat Israel like the friend and ally it is,” he told Israel Hayom, the Hebrew newspaper owned by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has donated millions of dollars to Republican and Zionist causes.
“I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world,” Romney continued. “You don’t criticize your allies in public to achieve the applause of your foes.”
Adelson may attend a $50,00 a plate fundraiser for Romney in Israel this week.
Needless to say, Romney’s obsequious remarks could only come from a thoroughly professional political prostitute, with utterly no concern for honesty and morality, or indeed, truth.
Romney, like Obama, is not ignorant of the facts about Israel, namely that Israel is a brashly racist, murderous entity that has nothing to do with the claimed American ideals of equality and liberty.
In America, every American child learns Patrick Henry’s iconic words ” Give me freedom, or give me death.”
In Israel, however, if you are non-Jew and you demand equality with the Master Race or Chosen People, Jews, you are not only a terrorist who ought to be annihilated, you are actually an insignificant and expendable non-human being.
Didn’t Ovadia Yosef, the religious leader of the Shas party, a king’s maker in Israel’s political arena, who has hundreds of thousands of loyal followers at his beck and call, didn’t he declare a few years ago that the Almighty created all non-Jews, presumably including Romney and Obama, solely to serve Jews?
Didn’t a Chabad rabbi opine some years ago that according to the Talmud, a Jew may actually murder a non-Jew, e.g. Romney or Obama, or even Jesus, in order to extricate an organ from his body if the Jew needs one?
But this is the political prostitution season in America where the numerous political sluts in the land of Woodrow Wilson are vying for Shylock’s purse. Thus, no matter how Shylock is dishonest, morally depraved and evil, he must be glorified and praised non-stop and beyond imagination, regardless of all moral considerations and immoral consequences. After all, according to the rules of the American political environment, the only virtue acceptable in Washington is the virtue of surrendering to Jewish Mammon.!!
The Republican candidate praised Israel, the “start-up nation,” for its “cutting-edge technology,” thriving economy, democratic values and freedom of press.
“I love this country, I love America, I love the friendship we have,” Romney stated as he concluded his speech.
In addition to his shining city on a hill, John Winthrop also gave a warning:
The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause us to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.
I have no doubt that the moral callousness and depravity eroding America, mainly as a result of Jewish domination, will boomerang sooner or later. There are many signs the payback process has already begun.
Penin Diaz, an American friend of mine, sent me this distressing report that I felt I had to share. Some of the details are uniquely American, but the experience is not – Barb Weir
Our family is going through hard times, and we’re trying to cut expenses, so I asked my bank about mortgage loan modification.
Published on Jul 30, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
The anti-Syria Western regimes have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but Russia and China remain strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on July 28, “Our Western partners… together with some of Syria’s neighbors are essentially encouraging, supporting and directing an armed struggle against [the Syrian government].”
Press TV has conducted an interview with Jonathan Steele, former foreign editor of the Guardian and the author of Ghosts of Afghanistan, to further talk over the issue.
Osama Qashoo, film director, activist
Extra reporting; Lauren Booth
On the 21 and 27 June, two asylum seeker vessels heading from port of Pelabuhan Ratu on the south-eastern coast of Java – a popular embarkation point for Australia disappeared. The boats were overladen with men, women and children, desperately seeking a new life, when the suspected sinkings took place.
Such tragedies are all too rare in the world of people smuggling. But this horror has an extra dimension to it, as the majority of the missing passengers were Palestinian refugees. This has led to a cruel fiasco of disinterest from all the regional authorities, who, even 30 days after the disappearance have failed to send out any search party for the missing. The trail of disinterest spreads from the Australian government right the way to the Palestinian Authority itself.
Whilst other families of the missing have received some contact and support from the authorities, the Palestinian families, in Iraqi refugee camps, are left still without news of their relatives. 28 Palestinians were in the boats believed to have sunk between Indonesia and Australia.
For an entire month, families of the Palestinian refugees from Iraq have been waiting for news of their family members still missing at sea. Their story is the tragedy of the ongoing Nakba (tragedy) itself. The grandparents of those missing were forced to flee their homes in the cities of Acre and Haifa by the Zionist movement in 1948. After years of hardships, roaming from refugee camp to refugee camp in the Middle East, these families arrived, penniless and stateless, in Iraq.
In Iraq, poverty and war stayed with the refugee families until in utter despondency, their children and grandchildren once again set off escaping sectarianviolence after the war on Iraq and got stuck in the middle of the sand for years on the Jordan-Iraq border, then part of them where dispatched to Brazil where they are now living in the jungle and the rest set yet again for an unknown future towards Europe.
Cyprus, not so long ago, was a friend to the Palestinian cause; a people with a shared past, dating back to the Phoenician times. Now however, with money talking louder than the Cypriot government’s conscience, Palestinian refugees are even here treated as criminals. And so the families were left to live on the streets, without schooling and in severe breach of their basic human rights and devoid of any support from the authorities and with little to no chance of their asylum cases being accepted.
Finally, in desperation, families established humble funds to sail the families towards Australia. A bad idea certainly, as Australia’s reputation for helping the world’s needy who arrive on their shores is also at an all- time low.
For two decades, Australia has experimented with different asylum policies. The destitute who attempt to reach Australia by boat in order to claim refugee status or ‘boat people’ typically make their way from the world’s trouble spots, including Iraq and Sri Lanka. Once they arrive in Indonesia or Malaysia, professional smugglers are engaged who arrange unsecured transit to Australia on small freighters or large fishing boats.
In 2011, the media brought us images of asylum seekers in Australia mounting the rooftops of their detention centres. Their protest finally brought to light the inhumane conditions faced in what amounts to little more than concentration camps on the Australian mainland and especially on Christmas Island. The riots were a reflection of the anger and frustration with the Australian government’s policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers until their status is determined; this process that can take more than two years.
Yet still the ‘boat people’ head to Australia. Not in great numbers, as the government there would have you believe but in numbers small enough to make it clear that Australia is still failing to meet its international minimum duties regarding the acceptance and aid of asylum seekers. The number of men, women and children awaiting a decision on whether they will be granted refugee status is relatively low compared to other countries.
UNHCR has reported that Australia had 5,242 official asylum seekers whose cases were pending at the end of 2011, which does not even place Australia in the top 40 states with the largest number of asylum seekers worldwide. Last year, there were some 4,500 migrants who entered Australian territory by boat, according to the Immigration Department and Minister for Home Affairs (up from about 2,700 boat people in 2009). A minuscule amount in immigration terms. But these people are amongst the most desperate of all; those who, with no hope for a future anywhere, else pile into unsafe vessels praying for a safe haven.
Today, the confusion about what precisely is the fate of the Palestinians aboard the most recent boats to sink in this desperate search for justice remains unclear.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has closed the dedicated information collection telephone line it operated following the sinking on 21 and 27 June for the two asylum seeker vessels. Relatives of the missing continue to telephone the department seeking information on loved ones they believe may have been on one of the vessels.
In accordance with Australia’s privacy laws, the department refuses to release information about people who have arrived in Australia seeking asylum.
All people who survived the sinking, say the authorities, have telephoned a relative or friend to let them know of their arrival on Christmas Island. They have also been issued with a telephone card which they can use to telephone other relatives or friends.
Yet, only in a small number of cases have the authorities been able to match the names of survivors with the names of people sent to them leaving families in a terrible limbo.
What happened to the boats? Why did they sink – did they sink? Why the silence in the media about such a tragedy which usually sparks front pages and comment pieces about asylum seekers and the status of refugees?
Perhaps worst of all for the families awaiting what will now certainly be bad news has been the silence from the Palestinian Authority itself.
One caller to a regional ambassador to Indonesia/Malaysia said he was told; ‘I’ll look into the matter after my lunch next Wednesday.’ The call was made on Friday. Nothing has been heard since.
The question then arises, the question that will remain the same until the Palestinian people are given their legal right to return to their own land; ‘Who is responsible for the rights of the refugees from 1948 and their descendants? And. When will justice finally be done?
The Australian Red Cross (in partnership with International Red Cross and Red Crescent counterparts) is assisting in providing tracing services for survivors and the immediate family members of passengers aboard the vessels. The Australian authorities have made it clear that as this incident occurred at sea, they may never be able to confirm the identities of all victims. The Department is unable to provide further details at this time.
Below is a list of all those missing and still unaccounted for. Please pray for them and their families. Please contact the Palestinian ambassador in your country and the Australian authorities and demand answers for the families awaiting news.
الحالة الأجتماعية _ متزوج وله ثلاثة اطفال
علما ان عائلتة موجودة في قبرص
الاسم _ مظفر عثمان عبد الحفيظmothafer Othman abed alhafeeth
الحالة الأجتماعية_ متزوج وله ثلاثة اطفال- married with 3 kids
علما ان عائلتة موجودة في قبرصfamily in larnaka
الاسم _ روحي صبري الحامدي الاسم_ يسرى سعيد نايف العمرو rohi sabri alhamdi 60 years old
العمر _57 عامر العمر _60
الاسم _عمار روحي صبري الحامدي
العمر_ 24 عام
الاسم _ عبد الناصر روحي صبري الحامدي abed alnaser rohi alhamedi 22 years old
العمر _ 22 عام
اسم زوجتة _ تجالي زهير عادل النابلسي
Wife tajali zuheer alnabulsi 22 years old
العمر _ 22 عام
ملاحظه هذه الاسماء عائلة كاملة على نفس القارب
الاسم _ عمر ابراهيم عارف الملحم
العمر _ 35 عام
اسم الزوجه _ اميرة شعبان شعيب
العمر _ 32 عام
1_ يسرى عمر ابراهيم عارف الملحم 13 عام
2_ ابراهيم عمر ابراهيم عارف الملحم 11 عام
3_ اميرة عمر ابراهيم عارف الملحم 4 عام
4_ يامن عمر ابراهيم عارف الملحم 1 عام
ملاحظه هذه الاسماء عائلة كاملة على نفس القارب
الاسم _ عنان عبد الفتاح الاسعد
العمر _ 53 عام
اسم الزوجه _ علياء عادل الاسعد
العمر _ 45 عام
1_ عبد الله عنان عبد الفتاح الاسعد 17 عام
2_همام عنان عبد الفتاح الاسعد 15 عام
3_ حارث عنان عبد الفتاح الاسعد 13 عام
ملاحظه هذه الاسماء عائلة كاملة على نفس القارب
الاسم _ عبد ابراهيم احمد ملحم
العمر _ 33 عام
الحالة الأجتماعية _ متزوج وله اثنان اطفال
علما ان عائلتة موجودة في قبرص
For fans of European football, July is pretty much downtime until mid- to late-August when the UEFA, German, Spanish and other supercups officially conclude the previous season. After the excitement of the Champions League and European Football Championship (EURO 2012), the spotlight shifted to transfers and lower-key international friendlies, which help clubs prepare for their upcoming domestic seasons. This year, though, a spotlight off the pitch continued to compete strongly for media and fan attention. I am, of course, referring to “racism,” an unfortunate solecism that is more emotional than accurate.
At EURO 2012, jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, UEFA launched the anodyne “Respect Diversity” campaign. Despite its bumptious aim of eliminating racism, some sort of official program does seem necessary:
- Hours before EURO 2012 began, Polish thugs attacked English-speaking fans and hurled racist epithets at Dutch stars.
- During the championship, the Croatia Football Association was fined €80,000 for fan misconduct, which included hurling insults at Italian star Mario Balotelli, who is ethnically Ghanaian.
- Later, the Russian and Spanish football associations were fined €30,000 and €20,000, respectively, because their fans exhibited racist behaviour and engaged in racist chanting toward specific black players.
Moreover, long before EURO 2012 started, the English Premier League was embroiled in two major racial issues. Luis Suarez of Liverpool FC was found to have insulted Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during an Oct. 14, 2011, match at Old Trafford. He would be suspended for eight games. The incident is also thought to have cost Liverpool FC coach Kenny Dalglish his job because he had come to Suarez’s defence.
Just over two months later, on Dec. 21, Chelsea FC captain John Terry was accused of insulting the ethnic origin and colour of Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. This July, the incident actually landed Terry in a Magistrate’s Court, where he was found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence. Earlier, Fabio Capello resigned as coach of the English national team because he could not abide the Football Association’s peremptory decision to strip Terry of his captaincy. Most recently, the FA decided to charge Terry despite the not-guilty verdict.
“Racism” is not new to international football, but high-profile cases over the past year have given the beautiful game a black eye. How the sport does, and does not, dealt with intolerance, shows that its insistence on ethical behaviour is really only skin deep.
On the one hand, if a black player is verbally abused the incident will be thoroughly investigated. The accused offender(s) can expect to be pilloried in the media and punished if found guilty. However, if an Arab player is physically abused, as in the case of Mahmud Sarsak of the Palestinian national team, virtually no action will be taken. One would think that the deliberate physical abuse of a player would merit stronger condemnation and punishment than mere name-calling (“sticks and stones” and all that), but because Israel was the offender, FIFA exhibited the moral cowardice and double-standard typical of high-minded organizations.
Sarsak’s ordeal began on July 27, 2009—three years ago—when he arrived at a border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip en route to joining the Balata Youth club football team in the West Bank. Despite having the required travel permit from the Civil Administration of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Sarsak, a university student with no political affiliations, was arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist (!) and sent to an Israeli jail.
In April, Sarsak went on a hunger strike, and by July his condition had deteriorated to the point where he had to be taken to hospital. His plight sparked a major international campaign to save his life. Because intense international attention was making Israel look bad, it finally agreed to release Sarsak. That was the end of it.
For its part, FIFA’s response reeked of timidity. When apprised of Sarsak’s condition, Sepp Blatter politely wrote to the Israel Football Association to express “grave concern and worry about the alleged illegal detention of Palestine football players… in apparent violation of their integrity and human rights…” [my emphasis]
I contacted FIFA in Geneva to ask how Blatter could call such a blatant offence “alleged.” I was told that the accuracy of Sarsak’s story was not certain because it came from third-party reports. This excuse is indefensible. If nothing else, it shows that for three years, FIFA did nothing to secure Sarsak‘s release..
But let’s be charitable for a moment. Let’s assume that FIFA had no knowledge of Israel’s racially motivated arrest and abuse of Sarsak, and let’s pass over Blatter’s feeble response to Sarsak’s hunger strike. What does FIFA do now? Sanction Israel? Suspend Israel? Investigate Sarsak’s arrest? No. Nothing.
As I thought about Israel, racism and FIFA—even beyond the Sarsak incident—I thought about South Africa, racism and FIFA. I called Geneva to find out what it would take for FIFA to suspend or expel Israel the way it did South Africa, and was treated to this gem: “The case of 1964 which you mention was different, as the South African football association was at that time not complying with the FIFA Statutes.”
In other words, South African apartheid was a football matter, and therefore punishable; Israel’s apartheid is political, and therefore outside the authority of FIFA. This is indeed a curious response. First, in July 1972, FIFA “clarified” its suspension of South Africa by stating that it was done not for contravention of football rules, but because of South African government policy! Second, even if such an argument were defensible, the abuse of Sarsak, a football player, clearly makes his abuse a football matter.
Ethical double-standard?—It’s hard not to come to that conclusion. In fact, FIFA admits its tolerance for Israeli apartheid in the language of is own anti-racism campaign:
“The Respect Diversity programme will be implemented with the cooperation of UEFA’s long-time anti-discrimination partner the “Football against Racism in Europe” (FARE) network and its eastern European partner organization Never Again. One key aspect of the initiative will be the monitoring by Never Again of racist and discriminatory chanting and symbols. Such monitoring activities have been an important aspect of FARE’s work at major international final rounds for several years”, as was stated in the message.”
“Never Again,” as we all know, is the shibboleth of Jewish exceptionalism and Holocaust® propaganda. How ironic that FIFA should unknowingly parade its Israeli subservience before the whole world!
If FIFA can grant Israel membership in UEFA by special resolution (see sidebar below), it can also take it away. Instead of integrity, though, we’re just going to get more of Sepp’s blather.
ISRAELI MEMBERSHIP IN UEFA
According to the UEFA Statutes, in exceptional circumstances, a national football association that is situated in another continent may be admitted for membership, provided that it is not a member of the Confederation of that continent, or of any other Confederation, and that FIFA approves its membership of UEFA.
Due to the tense political situation in this particular part of the world in the beginning of the 1990s, Israel asked for its affiliation to UEFA. Its clubs were not given the chance to participate in club competitions under the umbrella of the Asian Football Confederation as most of the Arab countries objected to meeting Israeli teams. In an effort to contribute to the development of football and to give an opportunity to as many people as possible to enjoy the game, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to accept the affiliation request.
This was done in three steps:
• 19 September 1991 in Montreux, Switzerland: Admission of teams from Israel in European Clubs competitions.
• 19 September 1993 in Cyprus: The UEFA Executive Committee agrees on a provisory admission of the Football Association of Israel (IFA).
• 28 April 1994 in Vienna, Austria: The UEFA Congress agrees on a definite admission of the IFA to UEFA.
ISLAMISTS are a gun for hire, America used them in Afghanistan, used them in Libya, after Hilary came and saw and he died, moved them to Syria, and after doing the job, would send them home to Saudi Arabia. If they fail in Syria, and they will, America would be happy to see them killed. In both cases America is winning wars without losing a single life, and for some stupid people, the Palestinian cause is gaining
The selective morality of ‘anti-Zionist’ Zionists (self-professed anti-Zionists who harbour certain Zionist viewpoints) says that Palestinians must languish in refugee camps merely because it would be ‘immoral’ to re-settle Israelis who live on stolen land. This is all while Israel proves its capability to resettle its own citizens when it colonises vast swathes of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
No matter how long we may debate the question of Palestine, the history is unequivocal. Palestine was stolen by colonists who invaded from foreign lands and settled under the shadow of a gun.
Palestine was partitioned by the UN (which had only just been established) – a party which had zero legitimacy and zero right to meddle in these foreign lands. Only native Palestinians (Muslim, Christian, Arab, Jew, or otherwise) had the right to partition Palestine (those who settled in Palestine as part of the Zionist project don’t count as natives by the way), but they were not consulted.
This writer has recently spent time working with Israeli ‘anti-Zionists’ taking part in activism in solidarity with Palestinians in Occupied Palestine. Opposition to enacting the Right of Return is prevalent in these ‘anti-Zionist’ circles, making them decidedly Zionist, regardless of their protestations to the contrary. The most common argument is that it would be immoral to enact the Right of Return because this would mean re-settling Israelis. Why would this be immoral? Because a certain amount of time has elapsed since their forefathers stole the land? Because there are generations of people living on the land who did not cause this conflict?
Well you see, this is the precise argument that Israel relies on vis-a-vis the illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – for in this respect these are no different to the ethnically cleansed villages & towns in pre-48 Palestine (‘Israel’). Israel relies on this selective morality which will eventually say “we can’t resettle the (West Bank) illegal settlers because they’ve been there too long and it would be immoral”.
Well you know what? There are generations of people – millions of Palestinian refugees – who are forced to languish in refugee camps all over the Middle East and the world. They did not cause this conflict, and neither did their forefathers. They’ve been suffering for decades, since the advent of the Zionist project – long before ‘Israel’ was even established. Is it not immoral to keep them there while their homeland is stolen, ethnically cleansed and Judaised?
If Israel can relentlessly settle its people in the West Bank in their hundreds of thousands, then it has the resources and capability (if maybe not the willingness) to re-settle for the purposes of achieving right of return. I don’t claim that this is immediately practical or realistic, but justice isn’t easy, and if it were, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Those who support two states because it is ‘practical’ or ‘realistic’ are betraying justice for Palestine – they have no interest in real justice, only political expediency (and perhaps in the case of many Israelis, they don’t want to give up their land & position of privilege, regardless of whether they admit this).
Groovy film about Iran – it looks a really nice place.
This week Yara Elmjouyee will show Tehran’s green areas as well as its old and magnificent sycamores or as they know it in Farsi, Chenar.
Published on Jul 30, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
In his book – Worse Than War – Daniel Jonah Goldhagen says that during mass murders, the murderers themselves, their supporters and those who wish to stand idly by practice linguistic camouflage. And this has been the case with the apartheid regime in Myanmar when it comes to its national project towards exterminating or purging out the Rohingyas.
When asked by an independent reporter Barb Weir (from deLiberation) to comment on Rohingya citizenship crisis, an Interior Ministry official working for the Myanmar government said: “After trying for many years to connect them to neighboring countries, we finally have decided that they are most likely the descendants of Swiss nationals that came to Myanmar many centuries ago and lost their passports. Unfortunately, their birth records were lost in an avalanche in Switzerland and so we cannot prove their origin. However, we are negotiating with Switzerland to repatriate them.”
When asked by the reporter about the origin of these “illegal immigrants”, the govt. official said, “I told you. They’re Swiss. And besides, they’re Muslim. The Rohingya Muslims are a demographic bomb for Myanmar. We want to remain Buddhist and democratic, and Muslim Rohingyas are a threat to our existence. Muslim self-determination has been expressed in dozens of countries. Why don’t the Muslim countries take them? They don’t belong here.”
When asked if he was worried about being accused of practicing apartheid policy, the official said, “We’re not worried.”
That tells us all we need to know about the mindset of the Myanmar government vis-à-vis the Rohingya people, not that we did not know what to expect from a representative of that apartheid regime. If you were looking for hearing from the horse’s mouth, we have it in President Thein Sein’s statement, released in early July. His office said that it would not recognize the Rohingya and would hand over responsibility for them to the U.N.’s refugee agency in Arakan State, adding that it was also “willing to send the Rohingyas to any third country that will accept them.”
But frankly speaking, I was rather shocked at the level of haughtiness demonstrated by the interviewee from the Interior Ministry. The interview truly epitomizes denial and arrogance.
Myanmar government wants to portray the Rohingyas as outsiders who had intruded into the country illegally. This small minority, according to official estimate of only 800,000 living in a country of some 56 million, is even depicted as a demographic bomb, threatening Buddhist lifestyle. I did not know Buddhism is that frail. Funny that the Thein Sein regime is even touted as a reform-minded government! If this be the attitude towards a persecuted minority one wonders how appalling it must have been during previous military regimes.
The Rohingyas, of course, are neither Swiss nor from Switzerland, and Switzerland is not Bangladesh either. No matter how the apartheid regime in Myanmar feels untroubled or gleeful about their own savagery and horrendous treatment of this persecuted people, the Rohingyas are from Myanmar or what used to be officially known as Burma. No denial of their existence can obscure this historical fact. It is also ludicrous to imagine that such a small tiny minority could be a threat to Buddhism.
For decades what used to be whispered (and/or unheard by others) in government circles before the latest pogrom was unleashed against the Rohingyas of Burma (Myanmar) has now become somewhat audible for all to hear. Thanks to the new-found guarded openness of the regime. We may not like what we hear though; after all, these are spiteful words – lies – coming from some of the worst racists of our time. But they are brutally candid about disclosing their inner hideous thoughts.
Their recent statements clearly show that for the past half a century, the Burmese government ultimately has been the author of its own actions – their genocidal campaigns, their repeated pogroms, and their apartheid character to eliminate the Rohingya people one way or another. It is this policy which has led to forced exodus of more than a million of Rohingyas, let alone the inhuman condition that their people are subjected to day in and day out inside Myanmar.
As we have witnessed in the past with the Jews of Germany, Bosnian Muslims of former Yugoslavia, Kosovars of Kosovo of former Greater Serbia (and former Yugoslavia), and victims of Rwanda and Burundi, any time such mass extermination or eliminationist projects are launched, it is always about societies and their cultures that contribute to the circumstances that produce extermination plausible as a group or national project — a project that is led by the state, supported by a good percentage of the nation or its dominant group or groups, and which employs large institutional and material resources.
With the current ethnic cleansing in Arakan against the Rohingyas, we are once again reminded of this ugly truth that it is a national project in Myanmar led that is by a criminal neo-Nazi regime where a good percentage of Rakhine and Burman majority — brainwashed by their own brand of Julius Streicher in the likes of (late) Aye Kyaw, Aye Chan, Khin Maung Saw and others – are willing participants. The extremist Rakhine politicians and Buddhist monks play their respective roles providing the justification and necessary institutional and material resources for such extermination projects.
As noted by Goldhagen, the targeted groups come to be seen as deleterious to the well-being of the executioner (often a majority) group. In some instances people deem the group’s perniciousness so great that they want to eliminate it. “In some of the cases such beliefs become socially powerful and coalesce into an explicit public and political conversation about elimination.”
And that is what has happened with the targeted Rohingya people. As part of a very calculated, sinister plan, the unfortunate murder of a Rakhine woman was used as the backdrop to simmer hatred and start the latest extermination campaign against the Rohingya people. It is not difficult to understand why the alleged criminal conveniently died in the prison so that no one would ever know the truth and whether or not he was used as a pawn in what was to follow. Thus, instead of a much anticipated inquiry report on grisly murder of ten Burmese (not Rohingya) Muslims in early June, we heard President Thein Sein’s statement that the Rohingyas cannot live inside Myanmar.
As I have noted earlier, crimes at individual levels happen in all societies. But only in eliminationist projects are such crimes used to justify elimination of a targeted group. To do this, the Myanmar regime has employed all five principal forms of elimination – transformation, repression, expulsion, prevention of reproduction, or extermination of the Rohingya people. In spite of world condemnation, the regime, once again backed by its monks and mobs, refuses to allow outside inquiries and refuses to provide necessary food and shelter to the suffering Rohingya victims in this hot summer month of fasting.
So overwhelming is this criminal national project and its scope that when asked to comment about Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi’s ignoble comments about the Rohingya, the ministry official said, “She has to equivocate on Rohingyan rights. However, we are confident that just like Nobel laureates Shimon Peres and Barack Obama, she will do the right thing and overlook injustice toward undesirable populations.” Ah, we should have known not to build false hopes with people that have mastered the art of double-talks, who talk about ‘sympathy’ and not ‘rights’!
So, what comes next?
President General Thein Sein has publicly stated that the Rohingya people should be expelled and the UN should take their charge. This is racial discrimination, plain and simple. It is an apartheid policy that has no place in the 21st century. The military regimes that preceded Thein Sein have been practicing this Burmanization and Buddhization policy of the country for the last few decades. When General Ne Win assumed power in 1962, he quickly nationalized all businesses and Muslims were the biggest losers. He also purged the armed forces and the civil bureaucracy of Muslims. Many fled (including those with Burmese or Karen spouses) to neighboring East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Thailand, West Pakistan (now Pakistan), UAE and Saudi Arabia. Anti-Muslim riots took place in Mandlay in 1997 and again in 2001. Some two dozen campaigns have also been directed against the Rohingya people to exterminate or evict them from their ancestral homeland in Arakan.
The real power in Myanmar still lies with the generals. President is their front man. They would continue to make sure that they control government and that the head of the state is a Burman from the majority race. To maintain their tight grip of power, they have created a toxic cocktail of ultra-nationalism (which is pure racism) and religious intolerance (which is bigotry) where the government patronized bare-feet monks are the flag-bearers of this new Myanmar. It is no accident that Nazi insignia – signs and symbols – are hot sales amongst the Rakhines and many Burmans today. They see themselves as the Fascist Germans of the Hitler-era ready to weed out their ‘Jewish peril’ – the Rohingyas totally. Even the so-called democracy movement icons and leaders have proven to be closet racists and bigots. Indeed, with the advent of a semblance of democracy, majority Buddhists feel they now have a license to kill and persecute minorities. This is tyranny of the majority at its worst.
It is high time that the UN and the international media take notice of this grave historic injustice to the Rohingyas of Myanmar. The Thein Sein regime must be obliged to accept the Rohingyas as equal citizens failing which the entire region would be forced to settle for decades of instability, something nobody wants. It is for the good of Myanmar that it fulfills its international obligations for reaffirming fundamental human rights, securing the life and dignity of the minorities within its territory, as are very clearly enshrined in the preamble of the Charter of the UN. The sooner the better!
U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be a genuine counterintelligence threat.
“The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials. Counterintelligence is the art of protecting national secrets from spies. This means the CIA believes that U.S. national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel.
“Israel employs highly sophisticated, professional spy services that rival American agencies in technical capability and recruiting human sources. Unlike Iran or Syria, for example, Israel as a steadfast U.S. ally enjoys access to the highest levels of the U.S. government in military and intelligence circles.” 
Mitt Romney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s relationship began in the 1970s at the Boston Consulting Group where they worked as advisers before Romney left to found his own private-equity firm.
Regarding Israel’s Military Occupation of Palestine, Jonathan Ben Artzi, a nephew of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spent eighteen months in jail for refusing to serve in the IDF said:
“Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue. If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.”
From a July 28th News-Press Release: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Linked to Nuclear Technology Smuggling Ring
“The FBI partially declassified and released files linking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a nuclear technology smuggling ring that targeted the United States.”
The FBI’s secret interview report with indicted American smuggler Richard Kelly Smyth in 2002, details that during his trips to Israel Smyth’s handler connected him with Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Smyth and [Netanyahu] would meet in restaurants in Tel Aviv and in [Netanyahu's] home and/or business. It was not uncommon for [Netanyahu] to ask Smyth for unclassified material.”
Released on the Internet on July 4, 2012, the files have been reported on by the Israeli press; but although the FBI report has also been sent to the New York Times, Washington Post, all members of Congress and United Nations members, no top-tier establishment news coverage, Congressional or UN investigations have been made public.
However, the public can read those declassified files courtesy of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy @
Under the “Five Eyes” umbrella, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand agreed to share intelligence and not to spy on one another.
Israel is part of a second-tier relationship known as “Friends on Friends” which plays on the phrase “Friends don’t spy on friends.”
Israel’s foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, and its FBI equivalent, the Shin Bet, have been suspected of recruiting U.S. officials and trying to steal American secrets.
In 1987, when Jonathan Pollard, was convicted of spying for Israel the Friends on Friends agreement was in effect. In January 2011, Netanyahu asked Obama to free Pollard and acknowledged that Israel’s actions in the case were “wrong and wholly unacceptable.”
“Ronald Olive, a former senior supervisor with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who investigated Pollard, said that after the arrest, the U.S. formed a task force to determine what government records Pollard had taken. Olive said Israel turned over so few that it represented ‘a speck in the sand.’” [Ibid]
Since Pollard’s arrest, Israel has received over $60 billion of Americans tax dollars, and the government has also supplied Israel with Patriot missiles, helped pay for an anti-missile defense program and provided sensitive radar equipment to track Iranian missile threats.
Last week, Obama announced he was releasing an additional $70 million in military aid and again spoke of America’s “unshakable commitment to Israel.”
During President George W. Bush’s administration the Syrian scientist who ‘disappeared’ was the CIA’s only spy inside Syria’s military program in the development of chemical and biological weapons.
“The scientist was providing the agency with extraordinary information about pathogens used in the program, former U.S. officials said about the previously unknown intelligence operation. At the time, there was pressure to share information about weapons of mass destruction, and the CIA provided its intelligence to Israel. A former official with direct knowledge of the case said details about Syria’s program were published in the media. Although the CIA never formally concluded that Israel was responsible, CIA officials complained to Israel about their belief that Israelis were leaking the information to pressure Syria to abandon the program. The Syrians pieced together who had access to the sensitive information and eventually identified the scientist as a traitor. Before he disappeared and was presumed killed, the scientist told his CIA handler that Syrian Military Intelligence was focusing on him.” [Ibid]
Two former U.S. officials also told the Associated Press, that a CIA officer in Israel came home to find the food in the refrigerator had been rearranged and that the U.S. government believes Israel’s security services were responsible.
That reminded me of my probable visit from Israel’s SECURITY establishment during one of my seven trips to Israel Palestine since 2005.
It happened shortly after Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu’s historic freedom of speech trial concluded on 3 July 2007 with a six-month jail sentence.
When the sentence came down, Vanunu quipped, “Maybe I need to turn to the Queen or to Tony Blair in order to grant me justice.”
I laughed when I read that, for my very first question to Vanunu when we taped the “30 Minutes with Vanunu” video was regarding how Israel maintains the British Mandate rules but ignores the Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon which their very statehood was contingent upon upholding.
But, I wasn’t laughing on 16 July 2007, when I chanced by Vanunu on Nablus Road but failed to recognize him, until I passed by and heard his voice call out, “Hi, remember me?”
Vanunu was not interested in talking to me as media, but we met for a few hours as friends and the very next day, I had a visit from ‘housekeeping’ that smelled like SECURITY to me.
Every item of my clothing that I had tossed around my room and flung into drawers and closets had been expertly folded as if they had just come from the dry cleaners.
My laptop, which I had left with the top down, but not logged off, was logged off and the top was up.
I knew in my gut that someone wanted me to know they were watching me so closely as to manhandle all my personal belongings -and so I wrote all about it and more in my third book: BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010 .
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.
- 1. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-u-s-officials-say-cia-considers-israel-to-be-mideast-s-biggest-spy-threat-1.454189
Ingrid Rimland is an award-winning ethnic novelist, with five books and hundreds of articles and columns to her credit. Born to Russian-German Mennonites in the Ukraine, she experienced World War II as a small child. Multilingual and gifted linguistically, she brings a unique perspective to the Patriot struggle, having lived under four dictators in her young years – Stalin, Hitler, Peron of Argentina, and Stroessner of Paraguay.
Ingrid is proudly married to one of the world’s most politically incorrect human rights activist, Ernst Zundel, kidnapped by America’s Zionist-beholden government goons on American soil in 2003 for having spoken Truth to Power about the so-called “Holocaust”. She has earned a doctorate in Education from the University of the Pacific and been aU.S. citizen since 1973.
In the early 1980s, I was working in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., doing research for my trilogy called “Lebensraum”, narrating my family’s flight from the Ukraine in 1943 under the protection of the retreating German forces. There, I came upon an article describing the last major World War II battle between the German Wehrmacht and the Russians that took place, as I remembered it in fragments, in the vicinity of Berlin. I was caught in its midst as an eight-year-old child when it happened.
In my memory, I see the various events pertaining to that battle much like a slide show – there is no continuity. I was too young to have understood that what I experienced, and escaped, were the death throes of what mainstream media now distorts as the well-deserved outcome of a despicable dictatorship right in the heart of Europe.
Here is what I remember.
There were four of us still of my once-extended family. In years past, long before I was born, there had been hundreds of relatives – aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, neighbors distantly related to us – …all of them gone, exiled to Siberia, executed, starved to death in two Soviet famines, left frozen by road in a desperate scramble to escape Stalin’s Red Terror that had menaced my people for decades.
Now there was only my grandmother left, whom we called Oma, (translated, Granny) my sister Wally, four, my pretty mother, then in her very early thirties, and I.
And, no, to set the record straight up-front, I am not a yammering Jew. I am proudly German by background, born in the Ukraine, now a naturalized American. My people were called “Volksdeutsche” by the Reich for centuries – ethnic Germans who had left their homeland five or six generations ago, who were now retreating back into the Fatherland with the Wehrmacht as Germany was losing the war.
In the article I found at the Library of Congress, the slaughter I am about to describe was called the “Battle of Halbe”. I don’t remember the City of Halbe itself – I remember two towns in the vicinity, villages actually, called “Kausche” and “Greifenhain”. I remember both places quite vividly, albeit with gaps in-between.
Kausche first. We had landed there after a harrowing escape from Poland, right before Warschau fell to the Soviets in 1944. We were desperately trying to reach the gates of Berlin, but we got stuck in this village called Kausche.
In those desperate last weeks of the war, refugees were flooding everything and often sleeping in the churches, schools, or even outside by the road, but we had lucked out – the mayor of Kausche had assigned us to a single room at the end of a barn which might have been the servants living quarters in days past. One small, smoky room – but at the very least, we had shelter.
The four of us shared our quarters with a hugely pregnant woman called Frau Weber and her chubby daughter, Erika, age ten.
The main house was opposite us, and to the side was a third building that I remember only because a young German soldier, for some reason never explained to his hysterical mother who tried to save his life, was willy-nilly executed on its steps a few weeks later by some Russian. He was left lying on those steps for days, for no one was permitted to touch him.
But I am getting ahead of my tale. It may seem strange today, but in those chilly April days of 1945, we all still believed that the war could be won by the Germans – and would be won in no time! That’s what Dr. Goebbels still promised in a widely broadcast radio message, most likely his last – and doubt would have been heresy.
Frau Weber’s husband was at the Eastern front and believed missing. He had come home on furlough, and now she was expecting and waiting to give birth. Erika and I had formed a somewhat guarded friendship, because Erika – a big girl for her age – shamelessly bossed me around.
I was skinny and scrawny, no match for Erika. I both admired and loathed Erika, for she was quite pretty in an aggressively flaunting way, which made me ill at ease. She once pulled up her sweater and showed off what was happening already to her chest – two tiny buds the size of small cherries. Nothing like that could be found on my chest, which was clearly a serious shortcoming.
The next memory I have is that the horizon in the distance turned suddenly a very fiery red. I am not talking about some puny little sunset – it was wall-to-wall red, the most spectacular sunset on earth! Somebody surmised with a frown that perhaps Berlin might have been set on fire by yet another bombing raid.
In retrospect I do not know if what we saw burning was Berlin or if it was another city nearby that was being bombed to shreds by the Allies. We saw this horizon, set aflame by the enemies of what we called our Vaterland, night after night after night – for weeks, as I remember it!
Then a distant rumbling started, and we could see huge clouds of black smoke bulging in the East. It sounded and it looked as though a thunderstorm was heading toward us.
At that point Frau Weber announced in her blustery way that she was about to give birth. She left Erika in Oma’s care and walked on foot to wherever she needed to go, and on foot she came back after another few days, carrying a little mewling something that Erika announced was her new baby sister, whose name I have forgotten. Maybe it never had a name? At any rate, Erika was preening herself, which made me even more jealous of her.
Very shortly afterwards, Erika and I were “playing marbles”, as we called our little game – flipping little glass beads in the dirt – when we noticed a small troop of civilians come racing down the road. A woman with two teenage boys and several small girls, each on a bicycle, stopped near us, out of breath, and shrieked at us that we should run:
>“The Russians are coming! The Russians are just about here!” The Russians were already at the outskirts of Kausche, they told us, knees flying and lips trembling, and they were pillaging, burning, raping, murdering whatever happened to be in their path!
Erika and I just stood there, staring. They jumped back on their bicycles and took off like some people possessed.
Run we did – but not very far. I don’t remember if I ran with my family or if it was just Erika and me – but what I do remember, clearly, is that we made it to the outskirts of a forest, and there, with his back against a tree, sat a dead German soldier, nicely uniformed, doubled over, still cradling in his lap the head an equally dead comrade who lay sideways in the grass, legs sprawling awkwardly.
After that, there is a blank. Maybe a day? Maybe only hours?
In my next memory I find myself again in our little room at the end of that old barn in Kausche. The room was filled with maybe a dozen other people, mostly young women and girls in their teens – and my Oma was wrestling with Frau Weber who was stabbing the air with a knife, announcing – shrieking like a banschee – that she would slaughter her baby.
Oma later told me that Frau Weber’s mind had snapped in two from the horror of it all – and horror it was, unimaginable horror, that now kept pouring into our room, non-stop, for more than a day and a night. The door had been kicked open, and hordes of “Russians”, slit-eyed, grinning, kept pushing in, grabbing the girls, grabbing the women, even grabbing the still bleeding Frau Weber and wrestling them all to the floor.
I am talking about several dozen “Russian” soldiers – Mongolians, actually, in Soviet uniforms – who had been recruited by Stalin at gun point to take revenge on Germany, as Ilya Ehrenburg, the Jewish-Soviet propaganda minister, had urged them in many a broadcast: “Kill! Kill! And kill! Nobody is innocent. Nobody! Nobody! Neither the living nor the yet unborn!”
I am talking mass rape. Serial raping. Non-stop!
I did not see any of this. I was told about it later, after I was old enough to understand. My Oma had me in an iron grip, pressing my head against her sweater, thus covering my eyes. She rocked and rocked and rocked. I don’t remember that she cried or even sobbed. I remember her as being silent, but she was trembling.
Violently. Rocking. With my nose against her breasts, I did not see a thing, but she saw it all, and she survived it all – and never again did she talk about what she saw and experienced that night – or in the many nights to come.
I know today she saw her daughter, my pretty young mother, violated on the floor right at her feet, with Soviet soldiers taking turn with her, holding other girls and other women, raping them non-stop – with ever new swarms of Soviets pouring in and taking over where the previous ones left off. In the madness of it all, our building was hit by a shell, killing two goats, I believe. In the room itself, there were some punches thrown and some teeth lost, but no killings. Only rape. Non-stop rape. Assembly line rape of young German girls, young German women by some Asians in Soviet uniforms.
The next memory I have is that all of a sudden, out of nowhere, our yard was flooded with some German troops who had briefly broken through the front and were fighting to make it to what they still believed was safety in Berlin. I remember this day as the 20th of April – Hitler’s birthday. I am not sure about this date, but I do know with certainty that it was around the time of April 20th. I can still hear Goebbels’ reassuring voice from the radio.
Our saviors! As happened countless times before, ever since we had left the Ukraine in the fall of 1943, those German boys and German men had bravely fought their way to us – at their expense, at their inconvenience, at great costs to life and limb, to save us! That’s what we then believed, and what I still believe.
My Oma, that stoic, collected, deeply religious women, grabbed one of those sent by her German Lord in German uniform and clung to him and cried and cried and cried. He awkwardly patted her back and said, “Omalein, don’t cry! Don’t cry! Please just don’t cry – we’re here!”
In that Library of Congress in Washington, D.C,., decades later, I read that that troop of young boys who had broken through the Russian front and very briefly occupied the village of Kausche, were murdered almost to a man. They never had a chance. In what was next to come, they were just pulverized!
Then, suddenly, don’t ask me how, we found ourselves atop a German vehicle, part of a long, long convoy of fleeing troops mixed with civilians whom they were picking up along the road in a mad scramble of escape. In retrospect, that vehicle now seems to me a cross between a jeep and truck; I don’t know what it was called – an LKW? Lastkraftwagen? We were huddling in the back, covered by a canvass, maybe a dozen of us, civilians mostly, but including a man with a very bloodied turban on his head. The four of us – Oma, Mama, Wally, and I – were still together, crouching in that vehicle, heading into the Greifenhain Forest.
It was slow going, because we were being shot at from every direction, constantly – several times the shelling ripped right through the canvas, and all of us expertly ducked. It was still chilly; my Oma had wrapped herself in a blanket, which later was found to have several shell or bullet holes. Miraculously, she was not struck, nor were we. How the four of us escaped that Greifenhain Forest, unscathed, is beyond me!
Our first driver was struck and instantly killed. We had to jump down. We were almost immediately swept up by the next vehicle and taken a bit deeper into that forest – until that driver, too, was killed. In my memory, this happened three or four times because either the driver was hit, or the vehicle became immobilized by the shelling.
In no time at all, the entire road was rammed with abandoned vans and trucks, dead soldiers and a few civilians left and right, bullets and shells flying every which way, a few of us still staggering along in military vehicles at snail’s pace. Intermittently, the call went out from front to back, from vehicle to vehicle: “Panzer nach vorn! Panzer nach vorn!” Panzer to the fore! There finally appeared one of those monsters on chains, pushing ahead past stalled vehicles, grinding the dead on the road right into the dust – that was the last, still-moving German Panzer that we saw.
What happened next was wholesale slaughter lasting a day and a night – at least that’s what the article in Washington, D.C. explained. The remnant Wehrmacht was surrounded totally, still with a handful of civilians in their midst. In the 1980s in Washington, D.C., I read about that slaughter at a time when the city was getting ready to inaugurate Ronald Reagan. That was the first time that I really understood what happened in that Greifenhain Forest.
Somehow I was separated from my family that day, or maybe later in the night, in a mad, mad scramble for survival – I have no memory of the details. None! There is a blank spot in my brain where memory should be. I have completely wiped it out! It’s gone!
I was later told that, after having been lost in that Greifenhain Forest for an entire day and night, I found my way into an abandoned farm house at the outskirts of the Greifenheim Forest where my family had run. How I got there, I don’t know. Oma told me that, for an entire week, I could not speak a word. I would just sit on the steps of that farm house and rock. I can still describe it to you.
This farm house was abandoned by its owners – we never found out what happened to them. Now it provided some shelter of sorts not only to the four of us but to what seems to me in retrospect to have been fifty, sixty wounded German soldiers who had either crawled inside with their last strength or had been dragged there on their legs by Mama and Oma once the shelling had died down.
One of them was so badly wounded that he only made it into the hall, where he begged to leave him be, to let him die. Throughout that horror-filed night, with my mother repeatedly being pulled out by the Soviets to have their way with her, my grandmother would check on that dying boy in the hall. At one point he begged for a container so he could urinate. She found an empty fruit jar to assist him. It filled to the brim almost twice. In all his pain, this dying boy had held his urine for the longest time so as not to embarrass himself.
For a few weeks, that dwelling housed not only maimed and wounded German soldiers but a group of chattering Russians who had set up some kind of Headquarters’ Command. By then, the war had ended, but nobody ever told us. There were dead soldiers lying simply everywhere – in the farm house itself, in the front yard, on the steps, in the garden, outside the stone arch gate that was stuffed to the very top with the bodies of dead German soldiers to keep us inside and to keep the outside out. I remember their arms and heads hanging down – dozens of arms, overlapping, heads dangling.
The bodies that were lying around did not scare me – there were simply too many of them, and we got used to them. The story in my family is that one day my little sister was found sitting on the legs of a dead soldier, serenely playing with a little porcelain doll she had found. “My little dollie says Heil Hitler,” the four-year-old said to a Russian who happened to pass by, and Oma held her breath, but he just laughed uproariously and patted Wally’s head.
There were so many dead, with no one left to bury them, that they were around far into the summer. I remember one, behind a hedge, who had been flattened completely by a panzer. The bloody outline of that victim was still there for weeks after all the shooting stopped, and whenever we passed, a huge swarm of flies would lift up. By then, the days were warm and getting hot, and the stench of so many bodies was just about unbearable.
So here we were, sharing somebody’s farmhouse with about a dozen Russians and many, many wounded soldiers. My mother was repeatedly pulled out by some lout to be raped, again and again, hundreds of times in the weeks and months to come. My grandmother, meanwhile, cooked for the wounded Germans as well as for the Russians. She had found some oatmeal and some canned stuff in the cellar and every day managed a watery soup.
I remember one German trooper, particularly – a young boy whose chin had been sheared off. He would dip his whole grotesquely wounded face into the oatmeal and try to lap some of it up like a dog. Blood and pus would drip from the hole, where once his chin had been, right into his bowl of oatmeal. He was merely one of many, horribly hurt.
The farm house was full with the maimed and the dying; the hall was full; the shed across the yard was full of them, hurting and bleeding but eerily quiet – except at night when some back in the shed, within the straw, still sang some haunting melodies. It seems unreal, absurd – but that is exactly what happened!
If you were in that war, you know that Germans always sang. Now you will hardly ever hear the Germans sing because their souls are dead – but then they still sang, very softly, at least a few of them. “Lily Marlene” drifted right into the room where I slept by an open window so I could strain to listen to them sing.
One day, the Russians decided that whoever was still able to walk should line up and be marched off to somewhere. Some did – others, too wounded, refused. Not long after that, we heard shots, one after the other. I don’t remember if anybody checked what was going on not far from my window in a ravine. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the men in the straw.
I should also tell you about what happened to Frau Weber. My Oma discovered her in the days to come in her search for wounded soldiers – and later on for food. Frau Weber was dead, Oma said. Only half-buried. Her lower body was covered with earth, but her upper body and her head were still recognizable.
Then someone steered Erika to us who told us that, after her mother was hit by a shell, she had grabbed the baby out of her arms and ran. She said she did not know what to do with the child, and she could not clearly remember what happened to it – she thought that she had lost it somewhere. Erika was only ten years old but, as I said, quite chubby and looking mature – and she had been raped, many times. In later years, I would sometimes be reminded by my mother how lucky I was – I was scroungy and skinny, and nobody ever touched me. At least not to my knowledge!
Somebody told my mother later that Erika was last seen last in a transport of Russian-German refugees who were sent back to Russia. This post-war operation is known to history as Keelhaul, whereby the Allies turned the ethnic Germans from the Black Sea, who had been briefly saved by Germans, right back to Stalin – to do with as he pleased. Not many did survive Siberia.
Our family escaped Keelhaul by a hair’s width – by fleeing one cold night across the border at the Harzgebirge into the British sector. That is another story for another time. I have described it, briefly, in my first novel called The Wanderers.
Why did I tell this story now? It seems that, every year, there is a group of German patriots who organize a quiet Memorial Walk in honor of the last ones who fought and died on German soil in the massacre called Battle of Halbe. This simple gesture of respect of honoring one’s dead is not as easy as it sounds in Zionist-besotted Germany, for it is far from certain that they will get a permit.
By Prof. James F. Tracy
Progressive-left media persist in acting as propaganda outlets for the US-NATO destabilization of Syria, thus placating a politically conscious audience that might otherwise be mobilized against acts of imperialism and violence. The historical record suggests how this is not the first time “Progressive publicists” were used to sell a war.
A recent report in the UK Guardian by Charlie Skelton explains that Western news outlets remain willing victims (or accomplices) in a propaganda campaign for US -NATO led Syrian intervention being carried out by skilled and well-financed public relations practitioners. According to Skelton, “the spokespeople, the ‘experts on Syria’, the ‘democracy activists’ … The people who ‘urge’ and ‘warn’ and ‘call for action’” against the Assad regime are themselves part of a sophisticated and well-heeled public relations effort to allow NATO forces to give Syria the same medicine administered to Libya in 2011. “They’re selling the idea of military intervention and regime change,” Skelton reports,
“and the mainstream news is hungry to buy. Many of the “activists” and spokespeople representing the Syrian opposition are closely (and in many cases financially) interlinked with the US and London – the very people who would be doing the intervening. Which means information and statistics from these sources isn’t necessarily pure news – it’s a sales pitch, a PR campaign.”
If one thinks that a revelation of this magnitude would be cause for other major Western news media to reassess their reportage of the Syrian situation they would be greatly mistaken. Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now is a case in point. Since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” color revolutions the foremost broadcast venue of “independent” progressive-Left journalism in the United States has used its reportage to obfuscate and thereby advance the campaign for regime change in Egypt, Libya, and now Syria. The tactics of disinformation and death squads employed in Libya and Syria should be easily recognizable since they were refined against popular Central American moves toward popular enfranchisement by the Reagan administration during the 1980s.
As Finian Cunningham recently observed  Democracy Now’s adherents look to Goodman on a regular basis because of her perceived credibility; she is the self-avowed “ exception to the rulers”—a tireless crusader against the restrictive corporate media where there remains a “deafening silence … around the issues—and people—that matter most.” Today Goodman’s vaunted program is contributing to the very violence being committed by Western-backed mercenaries against the Syrian people.
Goodman and similar Left media are engaging and convincing precisely because of their posturing against corporate media control, economic exploitation and war mongering. Occupying the outer contours of National Public Radio’s milquetoast programming, Democracy Now’s self-described “independent” reportage takes on a certain aura of authenticity among its supporters—mainly progressives with concerns for social justice and human rights.
Such characteristics make Goodman and Democracy Now among the most effective sowers of disinformation. Further, their role in assuaging an educated and otherwise outspoken audience serves only to aid and abet the wanton military aggression Goodman and her cohorts claim to decry. In light of the program’s broader coverage of the “Arab Spring,” such reporting must be recognized and condemned as sheer public relations for NATO and the Obama administration’s campaign of perpetual terrorism and war on humanitarian grounds.
On July 19, shortly after interviewing a mysterious “Syrian activist” who allegedly participated only with the assurance of anonymity, Democracy Now brought on McClatchy’s Beirut correspondent David Enders, who presented the US-NATO-backed mercenary army’s actions that resulted in the deaths of high-level Syrian government officials as part of a spontaneous popular revolution that was gaining momentum.
“We’ve seen the rebellion grow in numbers and as far as its organizational capability. And they’ve attempted to strike at Assad and his inner circle multiple times … I think what we’re seeing is just the government crumbling under the weight of a massive rebellion. It simply can’t put it down.”
Goodman and Democracy Now are in fact upholding progressive journalism’s greatest perversion: consciously using the public’s faith in its performance and moral rectitude to promote the latest war—a tradition that dates back almost one hundred years. At that time journalists with public personae remarkably similar to Goodman’s were employed to persuade the American public on US entry into World War One. This was done with the government’s careful consideration of how ostensibly liberal crusaders were held in high regard by the broader public.
In April 1917, when Democratic President Woodrow Wilson led America into the war that he promised would “make the world safe for democracy,” he called on some of America’s foremost progressive journalists to “sell” the war to a reluctant American population through the greatest propaganda campaign ever put together. Wilson’s anxiety over securing liberal support for the war effort brought him to recognize how well known “Progressive publicists” exercised credibility in the public mind through their previous work in exposing government and corporate corruption. One such journalist was George Creel, who Wilson tapped to lead the newly formed Committee on Public Information (CPI). New Republic editor Walter Lippmann and “father of public relations” Edward Bernays were also brought on board the elaborate domestic and international campaign to “advertise America.”
Because of Creel’s wide-ranging connections to Progressive writers throughout the US, Wilson was confident that Creel would be successful in getting such intellectual workers on board the war effort, “to establish a visible link between liberal ideals and pursuit of the war,” Stuart Ewen observes. “On the whole, Wilson’s assumption was justified. When the war was declared, an impassioned generation of Progressive publicists fell into line, surrounding the war effort with a veil of much-needed liberal-democratic rhetoric.”
Well known for his derisive critiques of big business interests, such as the Rockefellers and their infamous role in the Ludlow massacre, Creel was the perfect candidate to lead a propaganda apparatus at a time when suspicion toward “a ‘capitalists’ war’” was prevalent. “When the moment to lead the public mind into war arrived, the disorder threatened by antiwar sentiments—particularly among the lower classes—was seen as an occasion that demanded what Lippmann would call the ‘manufacture of consent.’” 
The sales effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication. The CPI was not only able to officially censor news and information, but to manufacture it. Acting in the role of an advanced and multifaceted advertising agency, Creel’s operation “examined the different ways that information flowed to the population and flooded these channels with pro-war material.”
The Committee’s domestic organ was comprised of 19 subdivisions, each devoted to a specific type of propaganda, one of which was a Division of News that distributed over 6,000 press releases and acted as the chief avenue for war-related information. On an average week, more than 20,000 newspaper columns carried data provided through CPI propaganda. The Division of Syndicated Features enlisted the help of popular novelists, short story writers, and essayists. These mainstream American authors presented the official line in a readily accessible form reaching twelve million people every month. Similar endeavors existed for cinema, impromptu soapbox oratory (Four Minute Men), and outright advertising. 
Creel himself recalls the unparalleled efforts of the thought control apparatus he oversaw to sell the war to a skeptical American public
.”It is a matter of pride to the Committee on Public Information, as it should be to America, that the directors of English, French, and Italian propaganda were a unit in agreeing that our literature was remarkable above all others for its brilliant and concentrated effectiveness.”
Alongside Creel’s recollections, out of their experiences in the CPI the liberal-minded Lippmann and Bernays wrote of their overall contempt for what they understood as a malleable and hopelessly ill-informed public that could not be trusted with serious decision-making. In their view, public opinion had to be created by an “organized intelligence” of technocrats (Lippmann) or “engineered” by “an invisible government” (Bernays), with the average citizen relegated to the role of idle spectator.
Given the backdrop of progressive-left journalists’ lengthy and ardent opposition to the Bush-Cheney policies of Nazi-like atrocities and plunder, venues such as Democracy Now are poised to serve as platforms for disseminating the necessary disinformation to make the Obama administration’s color revolutions and “humanitarian” policy of military interventions seem palatable to the very audiences whose sensibilities are most opposed to violence and imperialism.
The phenomenon attests to the sophistication and efficiency of modern publicity efforts that genuinely alternative news outlets have long pointed to, the gullibility of many on the Left, and the extent to which vintage propaganda techniques never truly die. Rather, they are consistently refined and expanded in anticipation of shifting public sentiment and rationales for deception.
 Charlie Skelton, “The Syrian Opposition: Who’s Doing the Talking?” Guardian, July 12, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking
 Finian Cunningham, “’Democracy Now’ and the ‘Progressive’ Alternative Media: Valued Cheerleaders for Imperialism and War,” July 13, 2012, GlobalResearch.ca, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31874
 Amy Goodman with David Goodman, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, New York: Hyperion, 2004, 7.
 Fact Sheet: A Comprehensive Strategy and New Tools to Prevent and Respond to Atrocities, White House Press Release, August 4, 2011, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/23/fact-sheet-comprehensive-strategy-and-new-tools-prevent-and-respond-atro
 Democracy Now! “Back From Syria Reporter David Enders Says Assad Regime Crumbling to ‘Grassroots Rebellion,’” July 19, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/19/back_from_syria_reporter_david_enders. The observation, emblematic of Democracy Now’s overall Libyan and Syrian coverage, stands in stark contrast to the stories from genuine alternative news outlets providing important reports and analyses explaining the root causes of the Syrian unrest. For example, see Thierry Meyssan, “How Al Qaeda Men Came to Power in Libya,” Voltairenet.org, 7 September 2011; Tony Cartalucci, A Timeline & History: One Year Into the Engineered ‘Arab Spring,’ One Step Closer to Global Hegemony,” December 24, 2011, Land Destroyer Report, http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/2011-year-of-dupe.html; Webster Tarpley, “NATO-Backed Death Squads Basic Cause of Syria Unrest,” PressTV, May 10, 2012; Stephen Lendman, “Syria at the Crossroads: Is US-NATO Contemplating a Plan B? GlobalResearch.ca, April 2, 2012,
 Stuart Ewen, PR! A Social History of Spin, New York: Basic Books, 1996, 109-110.
 Aaron Delwiche, Propaganda: Wartime Propaganda: World War I, The Committee on Public Information, Accessed July 20, 2012 at http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ww1.cpi.html; George Creel, “How We Advertised America, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1920. Available at http://archive.org/details/howweadvertameri00creerich
 Creel, 113.
 Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, New York: Free Press, 1997 (1922); Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda, New York: Ig Publishing, 2005 (1928); See also Lippmann, The Phantom Public, New York: Transaction Publishers, 1927, and Crystallizing Public Opinion, New York: Bonni and Liveright, 1929.
James Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He is an associate of Project Censored and blogs at memorygap.org.
James F. Tracy is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
A Virginia college, a Colorado high school, a Texas military base, an Arizona strip mall, a Colorado movie theatre – all have become part of a recurring event in America: mass murder.
Following the latest massacre Tom Mauser, the father of a 15-year-old victim at the Columbine High School slaughter in 1999, described the inescapable scene: “Hysterical victims fleeing in terror.
“Anguished mourners crying out for lost loved ones. Stunned citizens praying together at candlelight vigils.”
In the latest very sad day, 12 people were killed and another 58 injured by a psychopath with nothing better to do than mimic a mad film shoot-up.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said about mass killer James Holmes: “This is a deeply troubled, twisted, delusional person.”
That description was too kind.
In addition to the carnage wrought by Holmes in the cinema with his AR-15 assault rifle, Glock pistols and shotgun, he wired his apartment to kill more with explosive booby-traps.
So far, no one has any idea what Holmes’ motive might have been.
Did he need to have a motive for this kind of killing spree?
If no motive can be discerned, where does a maniac like this get the idea for his bloodbath?
Holmes studied neuroscience at the University of California Riverside. His studies involved “temporal illusions and the cross between fantasy and reality”.
According to reports, Holmes told police when he was arrested in the rear parking lot of the theatre minutes after the rampage that he was “the Joker”.
The Joker has long been a fixture in Batman comics and was famously portrayed by Heath Ledger in 2008′s The Dark Knight, the predecessor to The Dark Knight Rises.
Holmes had few friends and barely any social life, instead spending hours indoors playing the video game Guitar Hero.
More Mass murders:
The total number of people dying in attacks that claimed four or more victims climbed from an average of 161 a year in the 1980s to 163 between 2006 and 2008, according to FBI statistics.
“The motive for mass murder is so different from the motivation for single-victim murders,” criminology professor Jack Levin told The Huffington Post.
“These are well-planned crimes… Mass killings don’t depend on any given time.”
Between 1980 and 2008, 4,685 people died in 965 mass-murders, a Scripps-Howard study of FBI data revealed.
Christopher Valen reported “mass murders have risen five per cent from 1,360 incidents in 2008 to 1,428 incidents in 2009, despite a decline of 7pc in homicide rates over that same period of time”
President Barack Obama’s statement on the shootings in Colorado included this:
“Now, even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorise their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless.”
He didn’t say “their fellow Americans”; he said “their fellow human beings”. He added: “It’s beyond reason,” and he was right.
The president also said “we may never understand what leads anybody” to commit such senseless evil.
So Mr President, what leads you to order mass murder in Afghanistan or Iraq, Yemen or Libya?
Is it acceptable to order someone else to perform such a heinous act?
Or are you suggesting that mass murder of foreigners involves killing non-humans?
In these difficult times where the western establishment is beating the drums of war, where the greedy west is sharpening its knives to kill more and usurp more, where Syria has become an open wound and a meeting ground for all the thugs of the world, where Gaza is still under siege and Israel building and expanding more and more, we witness a world wide campaign- carried on by activists and NGOs- to promote alternative means -or non violent means -distinct and different from the means adopted by the actual victorious Resistance . It is not by accident nor it is a coincidence that these NGOs -who promote non violence as the sole approach to solve the Palestinian problem or the Arab/Israeli conflict- are found in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine that have opted for armed Resistance .
By this promotion of alternative means, these organizations- actually- are declaring a different kind of war, a soft war –as Sayyed Hassan said – that is nothing but the continuation of the actual war but with different weapons. And while the armed hired thugs have been dispatched to carry on the real war because US and Israel can no more afford human losses and military defeats , an army of local and foreign activists and NGOs have been dispatched for the soft war. The soft war has the same goal as the regular war and supplements it but it does not seek to disarm the enemy- physically and directly- but to disarm him mentally and indirectly. It is an invasion of a person’s mental framework by the dark destabilizing enemy forces which can turn him into a mere tool in the hands of his enemy, whereby he gets swayed from his original goal to carry on the enemy’s scheme. This is how the enemy succeeded in sowing sectarian hatred and sectarian alignment.
Preaching fake and unstable peace to people under attack, and labeling their self defense or their taking arms for self defense as violent and unwarranted, and accusing them of being violence ridden and haters of life, is another weapon used by the enemy in this soft war. Still another weapon is finding a way of calling their presidents dictators and butchers and accusing them of deaths of children etc. as is being promoted these days by the media.
From the BDS of the academic boycott, to the support of Palestinian prisoners and catering to their fasting by al Dameer , passing by the protests against the wall of segregation or campaigning against the settlements in east Jerusalem or against the siege on Gaza , or denouncing the confiscation of Palestinian land , all these separate small causes endorsed by different NGOs have turned the one Palestinian cause into a multitude of small causes each cut to the size of the organization that is promoting it . This dissection of the cause into small bits is liable to kill the cause itself . What all these NGOs have in common is their call for non violence promoted against the armed Resistance of the people that has proved to be the only means for liberation thanks to which south Lebanon was liberated .
This is not the first time that our inner mental space has been invaded. The western establishment and colonialism have always sought to invade and occupy our mental space and the moral structures of our societies in order to expose – as Sayyed Hassan says – the set of values inspired by our culture and religion which constitute our real strength. This is what enabled the west to withdraw its armies from most colonies, after it had succeeded in maintaining its mental and cultural hegemony over their societies without the need for the actual presence of the armies. The battle that the western establishment had lost- by the victory of the armed Resistance- is not military. The west had lost –in fact- the mental battle and the mental and cultural control it had over all the articulations of society because what made the victory of the Resistance possible was the incapacity of the west to penetrate the mental inner framework of this Resistance. This is the same reason that was behind the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran over the west.
For this reason, and in order to retrieve these mental positions that the west had lost, and to make up for the mental loss whereby a barefooted child has started throwing stones at an Israeli moving tank, the western monster decided to wake up and launch the series of springs that will enable him to take hold of these positions again by interfering once more within the inner settings of the individual and the society and subdue it manipulate it in a way to serve the western master once again in a proper way.
This liberation by armed struggle caused the western establishment and its local allies to rally against the Resistance seeking its disarmament at any cost and for this reason it has sent -along with the armed thugs smuggled to Syria- its army of white doves to preach peace and non violence as inspired by Gandhi
Not that the Lebanese armed Resistance practices violence , not at all , the armed Resistance practices calculated and measured self defense. It checks the enemy and watches him closely and will not allow him to trespass the borders or transgress limits . It has created a balance of forces whereby the enemy knows that any assault on his behalf would be counteracted by a similar one and that, for each location targeted and shelled, there will be an equal targeting and shelling within the occupied territories . This very well calculated balance measured carefully by the wise Resistance – regardless of what NGOs and activists think- has brought peace to the Lebanese people of the south for the simple reason that it has blocked the source of violence originating from the Israeli foe by threatening him with an equal treatment . So the armed Resistance that has liberated the land has also brought peace to the southern region , therefore the desired peace has been achieved by the armed Resistance and not by the endless fruitless speeches and actions of ill intentioned NGOs who -while criminal thugs hired by the west are committing crimes- are preaching a fake non violence to the oppressed .
A video shown on Lebanese television documents the abduction that led to the eruption of the Second Lebanon War.
Watch the video:
Hezbollah’s Moussawi: ‘On July 11, 2006 I was meeting with a ‘deposed Arab ruler’ & five of his lieutenants …’
Moussawi then told al Mayadeen’s Ghassan bin Jeddo that the meeting (s) was per repeated requests of the ‘deposed Arab ruler’ and that the ousted guy was adamant to have many of his non civilian lieutenants present (all of whom are alive and in power)…’
Bin Jeddo discarded the posdibilty that the ‘deposed’ was Bin Ali or Qaddafi (both for obvious reasons) that of course left Mubarak, Tantawi & co.
Moussawi neither denied nor confirmed.
Mubarak’s regime was one that championed all things anti-Hezbollah. To hear that they requested regular meetings with one of the region’s most effective organizations (HzB) to ‘coordinate’ is not surprising.
Anyone who follows the debate over Israel-Palestine knows how automatic and routine it is for one side to label those who disagree with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people as self-hating Jews, Israel haters or anti-Semites. Hoping to calm the hysteria and add much-needed clarity to the issue, and unwilling to be silenced by these accusations, I’ve decided to share a brief adaptation from the “The Self-Hating Jew” chapter of my book, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict. As an American Jew with ultra-Orthodox relatives living in Israel, a former member of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC) and a reflexive defender of Israel for more than 50 years, I believe I am as qualified as anyone to share my insights.
In the past the label self-hating Jew, though rarely used, was associated with Jews who were ashamed of or who hid their religious and cultural heritage. But as the debate over Israeli policy in Occupied Palestinian Territory has intensified, self-hating Jew, like anti-Semite, has become a routinely brandished and emotionally charged retaliatory weapon. The idea, however, that a three-word label can encapsulate the character of a person is problematic. A human being is far more than what a single phrase can say about him, and accusations such as self-hating Jew are so divisive that they make tolerance and cooperation impossible; and they eradicate the possibility for real understanding.
For some Jews, support for Israeli policy is unconditional, even if it conflicts with traditional Jewish values. For other Jews, these values are primary and ought to be associated with Israel’s compliance with international law. If the former would make an effort to discover why the latter campaign for Palestinian equality, they would learn that they are making a conscious choice not to remain silent when witnessing one group’s denial of basic human rights to another group. These Jews see their people, like the rest of mankind, as complex beings, capable of acts of inhumanity as well as acts of kindness. They are able to concede that at times Israel does violate the rights of others, that it has used torture and mistreated and killed innocent people, and that its leaders do not always tell the truth about these acts. They believe that the Israeli government has hijacked their heritage by replacing morality and brotherhood, once so valued in Judaism, with bigotry and exclusion.
Nearly every Jewish critic I’ve met believes that by opposing policies that relegate Palestinians to lives of second-class citizenship, they are rescuing the integrity of their religious tradition. They are, therefore, true friends of Israel. A true friend will admonish his friend when he sees him acting irrationally toward his neighbor. These critics have no desire to harm the state of Israel. Their desire is to prevent the state of Israel from harming Palestinians. They advocate equal rights for all because they know that equal rights lead to peace.
This begs the question: What exactly is self-hating (or anti-Semitic) in such a position? Is honoring the humanistic values many Jews were taught at synagogue a betrayal of their Jewish roots? Is caring about another people synonymous with hatred? Is learning about a painful subject likewise symptomatic of anti-Semitism? Isn’t thirst for knowledge a hallmark of Judaism and isn’t it fundamental to solving problems? If criticism of deliberate violations of international law expresses hatred, what does turning one’s back on the suffering of millions express? If calling on Israel to end its human rights abuses expresses hatred, are we to forsake a people who cry out against the destruction of their homes or the traumatizing of their children?
So where is the hatred? The hatred is conceived in the minds of those who are afraid to ask why someone is critical of Israel. Rather than conduct honest research to refute or confirm the criticism, the accuser victimizes himself with self-generated feelings of fear, confusion and anger, all of which are animated by unexamined beliefs and images within his own mind. This mind colors his perception so that he sees the world in terms of personal victimhood versus the world’s hostility.
Because he is unconscious of the effect his feelings have on his perception, the accuser can only project his perception onto the world and then presume that the world he sees proves the reality of his perception. Creating his own suffering, he narcissistically scapegoats and blames the world (in this case Palestinians and their sympathizers) for the suffering.
Triggered through denial, this inner thought process attributes to Palestinians and their sympathizers the accuser’s own hatred. In other words, the accuser makes the other responsible for, and the repository of, his unresolved pain. He objectifies the other and rejects his humanity. Then he supports inhumane policies, which he justifies under the guise of an existential danger to Israel. In so doing, he brings the world’s anger down upon Israel, which reinforces and perpetuates the cycle of perceived victimhood. This entire process is a defense mechanism that stems from the fear of inquiring into one’s presumed identity through the questioning of one’s beliefs and images.
Labeling as hateful or anti-Semitic honest criticism of Israeli oppression is no different than labeling as anti-American honest criticism of America’s history of oppression toward people of color. And holding Israel to normative standards of conduct does not delegitimize anyone. What delegitimizes Israel are the behavior and attitudes that humiliate an indigenous people.
I have not met one defender of Israeli policy who has impartially studied the actual history. If they had the decency to do so, most would discover that they have character assassinated the Palestinians and facilitated their misfortune. The real conflict for these defenders is not Israel versus a hostile world or Israel versus the Palestinians. The real conflict – and the basis for claims of self-hatred and anti-Semitism – is the failure to integrate the hard-to-believe but inescapable awareness of Israel’s treatment of non-Jews with unquestioned loyalty to the Jewish state. One consideration acknowledges Israel’s dark side; the other denies the dark side exists. If these defenders want to distinguish the source of conflict and find peace they need to inquire within. But there are no excuses! Under the right conditions, willful blindness is a crime against humanity.
Only by committing myself to the truth was I able to apprehend that, in reality, criticism of Israel was never a serious concern. Incredibly, I had never defended Israel, at least the Israel that actually exists. I had always defended an idealistic image of Israel that was projected or superimposed upon the Israel that actually exists. This projection enabled me to repress or deny painful revelations that I would have learned about Israel and about myself if only I had looked without the errant influence of an unexamined mind. Denial and projection go hand in hand. What I denied about Israel and about myself, I projected onto the other, who automatically and necessarily became my enemy.
The perspective formed from my projections revealed more about how I wished to see my people than how they really are when looked at in an honest light. My attachment to certain beliefs and images was a defense designed to preserve a childlike faith in Israel as guardian of freedom and humanity. Somehow, I had to reconcile my treasured images with the reality that conflicted with them. However, rather than making use of the tension between these forces as a gateway to transformation, I denied reality and adhered to the safety of indoctrination. When friends I normally trusted pointed to Israeli deeds that seemed out of character, I reacted by ignoring or rationalizing the suffering of Palestinians.
Equating Palestinian freedom with Palestinian terrorism, I worried that if Israel relinquished strict control over its subjects, the lives of its Jewish citizens would be imperiled. Fearing annihilation, I unconsciously superimposed Nazi images onto the Palestinian people, and then refused to believe that the Jewish state could act indefensibly toward them. Fear prevented me from empathizing with the pain of Palestinians and it blinded me to the likelihood that a country I had invested so much faith in could administer such brutal policies.
I indoctrinated myself into the idea that some Jews were willfully blind to the evil intentions of the Palestinians, and that their willfulness demonstrated support for that which I feared most: the annihilation of the Jewish people.
Truthfully, my reaction to criticism was motivated more by the fear of taking on the challenge that the criticism posed to my identity than by genuine disagreement or fear for Israel’s existence. For a split second, though, before denial and repression set in, this challenge reflected the prejudice that induced me to deny the humanity of the other. And in order to avoid encountering my own lack of humanity, I ignored documented evidence, thereby consenting to the subjugation of millions. I judged Palestinian violence as a pathological expression of hatred, not the response of an oppressed people, a small minority of whom resort to violence as the only way they know to retain a measure of self-respect in the face of generations of violence inflicted upon them. By turning my back on the suffering of others, I had sacrificed the very values Israel once personified.
How is it that a person can be devoted to the well being of one group and hostile to the well being of another? Is it true that there is an inherent difference between two peoples that justifies devotion to one and hostility towards the other? Are such feelings real or has something been added that distorts feeling? In my view, the determining factor is the labels that are applied to a people and the beliefs and images associated with the labels. These labels are the mind’s attempt to resolve fear and gain security, but they occlude the very mechanism that can achieve these aims.
The ability to look and to feel is what achieves security. This ability is inherent and it functions perfectly when there is no recoil from the circumstances of existence. In simple practical situations it makes itself known. Everyone has experienced it. There is a moment when you just know there is danger, when you know that a person is not to be trusted. Then you act accordingly. You do not need one iota of belief about the situation. You have no preconceptions and you are not recoiled from the situation. You are simply being present. Then there is the real feeling that something is amiss.
What I am talking about is natural intelligence as the means for practical security. If we look and feel, then certain things become clear. But we have to renounce labels, we have to renounce the philosophy of us against them, and we have to end our recoil from the human reality of the conflict. There is nothing to fear; we needn’t wait. Do we wait until we discover the nationality, race or origin of a person before we feel concern or neglect for him or her? If so, then there is no real feeling at all. Our concern and our neglect are false. Both are manifestations of fear and confusion. Our automatic identification with one side of a conflict is selfish, founded upon an attachment that keeps us so inextricably bound that we have lost our connection to humanity. We may tell ourselves we support an end to conflict, but as bearers of inner conflict we constantly subvert our goals.
Beyond the mind lies a vast expanse of freedom, unqualified by our presumed mortality as a separate person. In this space of freedom true feeling arises; it flows from the heart. In the field of human relations its expression is compassion. Compassion is the expression of peace and the means of peace. When we know it then we also know that peace for the world is achievable.
I never used the term self-hating Jew. I am thankful I didn’t. I believe the label is a powerful barrier to understanding. The key to understanding is dispassionate intelligence. Fear and anger permeated every argument I made in defense of Israel. Invariably I moved from the quandary of fear to the apparent certainty of anger. But I never crossed over into hate. There is a special feeling that accompanies the words self-hating Jew. The key is in “hate.” Characterizing someone in any way with this word introduces viciousness to the mind. This viciousness makes the mind utterly dualistic – and utterly obtuse. The subtle awareness that my ingrained perspective was perhaps incorrect would have been extinguished if I had described Israel’s Jewish critics as self-hating. As it was, because I did not become involved in hate, I remained open to a dispassionate investigation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The notion that any Jew who dedicates him or herself to justice for all people and who protests the unfair treatment of the downtrodden harbors self-hatred defies common sense. Given the self-esteem it takes to stand for justice amidst fierce denunciation, a more accurate assessment is that they are self-loving Jews.
To read more excerpts of Breakthrough visit www.RichardForer.com or Amazon.
Last week, I came across Mr. Kanbawza Win’s article – “Killing two birds with a stone or a Win, Win Situation” (Eurasia Review, July 19, 2012) – discussing his thesis for solving the Rohingya crisis in western Burma. As a global citizen who has worked for decades to make our world a more inclusive one away from the brunt of racism and bigotry, I could not resist the temptation to read Mr. Win’s piece. After all, Mr. Win is part of the so-called pro-democracy movement for Burma. He has been critical of the military regime that has been ruling Burma. He is also considered by many to be the voice of reason within the Burmese exiles.
Unfortunately, Mr. Win has not been able to shed his deplorable prejudice and racism when it comes to the ‘other’ people. And he is not alone in this serious moral failing. As I have noted many times, when push comes to shove, most of these pro-democracy leaders have either proven to be or acted like closet fascists. It is they who have often led the campaign for expulsion of the Rohingya population or to engage in genocide or to institute an apartheid system against the Rohingya. Ironic as it may seem many of these charlatans are seeking asylum in the USA, UK, Germany and Canada while they feel comfortable engaging in ethno-nationalism that might have made genocidal mass murderer Slobodan Milosevic proud.
Their narrative about the Rohingyas of Arakan starts with the British colonization of the territory in 1826 after the first Anglo-Burma War of 1824-26, as if they had no past connection to the soil of Arakan. To them, the East India Company, which had already been administering next-door Bangladesh (Bengal in British India) since 1757, lured those “Bengali inhabitants” (mostly from the district of Chittagong) to come and work as seasonable laborers. Mr. Win writes, “The arable land expanded to four and a half times between 1830 and 1852 and Akyab, became one of the major rice exporting cities in the world. Indeed, during a century of colonial rule, the Chittagonian immigrants became the numerically dominant ethnic group in the Mayu Frontier. That is the origin of the Mujahid or the Bengali Immigrants.”
I doubt if Mr. Win understands the meaning of the Arabic word Mujahid (literal meaning: a person who strives). Surely not; otherwise, he should have avoided using such an adjective to describe the Rohingyas. They are not Bengali immigrants either that settled since the British era. Yes, some of them may look like people of Bangladesh, separated from Arakan by the Naaf River. Living in a frontier territory sandwiched between the Hindu and Muslim dominated India/Bangladesh to the west and the Buddhist dominated Burma to the east, it would be silly to say that the Rohingyas, as the original inhabitants of the land of Arakan, should have looked different. As any student of Buddhism knows, Buddha himself was an Indian (a Kala) from the state of Bihar (Magadha), neighboring Indian state to Bengal. He was not of the Mongoloid race that resembles the Rakhine and Buddhist races today. (One has to just make a trip to Bihar in India to find if the Biharis look closer to the Bangalis or the Rakhines of Arakan.)
Like many of his group of chauvinists in the so-called pro-democracy movement in Burma, suffering from selective amnesia, Mr. Win forgets to tell his readers that before the British came to Arakan there were already one Arakanese Muslims for every two Arakanese Buddhists. And this, in spite of the marauding campaign to colonize Arakan by the Buddhist zealot – Burman (Burmese) king Bodawpaya – in 1784 which witnessed slaughter of tens of thousands of Arakanese people – Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists alike. Some 20,000 inhabitants (including Muslim Arakanese) were taken as prisoners to the Burmese capital city of Ava. Afraid of their lives, many Arakanese (of all faiths) – numbering probably in excess of 200,000 – fled to Chittagong and other southern coastal territories of Bangladesh, where their descendants continue to live as citizens of Bangladesh today.
As noted by Professor Abid Bahar, who has done many field studies on the Rohingyas of Burma, when the British took control of Arakan, some of the descendants of those refugees in Bangladesh returned to their ancestral homes. But contrary to Rakhine myth or popular belief, the proportion of the returning refugees or their descendants was comparatively larger from the Rakhine (Buddhist) community than that of the Rohingya (Muslim) community in the British era.
Sadly though, simply because of their Buddhist faith, the Rakhine descendants of those returning refugees are not subjected to the same litmus test for proving their ties to the region anterior to 1823. Additionally, any Bangladeshi Rakhine can today move into Arakan and become a citizen of Burma simply because of his looks and faith while the Rohingyas are denied citizenship simply because of their race and religion. If this is not pure racism and bigotry, what is?
Mr. Win forgets to mention that since at least 1430 C.E., when the Muslim Sultan of Bengal helped to restore the fleeing Arakanese king – Narameikhla (Maung Saw Mwan) to the throne a very sizable Muslim population had thrived in Arakan, who later held important government positions. He does not tell his readers that the golden age of Bengali literature thrived in the courts of Arakan during that Mrauk-U dynasty when its kings even used Muslim names. He also does not tell them that for nearly a hundred years during the Mrauk-U dynasty, taking advantage of the unrest in Mughal India, Chittagong was annexed and administered by the Arakanese kings (until 1666). He also does not mention that for hundreds of years the Arakanese Buddhists, in collaboration with Portuguese pirates, were involved in piracy, abducting tens of thousands of Muslims and Hindus from the territories of Bengal who were either sold or forced to work as slaves in Arakan. Their number accounted for 15% of the population of Arakan before Bodawpaya’s campaign.
As a Buddhist fanatic, while Bodawpaya destroyed most mosques and Islamic shrines, he could not exterminate all Muslims of Arakan (the ancestors of today’s Rohingyas of Burma). Many survived, as did the (Buddhist) Rakhines. Thus, some 30,000 Muslims survived when the British first took control of the territory. They were not planted by the British in 1826. It is not difficult to understand why over the last two centuries their number has grown to more than a million. To claim that the Rohingyas of Burma are outsiders or intruders or mujahids is not an analysis, but a paralysis of one’s wits that cannot decipher the truth from falsehood. And hatred will keep one close minded, unwilling to objectively analyze matters. That is the sad reality with most Rakhine politicians and charlatan scholars like Mr. Win who have no problem borrowing pages from the fascist Nazi era to ethnically cleanse the Rohingyas of Burma.
Mr. Win may like to read my work on “Muslim Identity and the Demography in the Arakan State of Burma (Myanmar),” available from the Amazon.com to see the utter falsity of his accusations against the Rohingyas of Burma. As children of the early settlers of Arakan, their claim to the land of Arakan precedes those of the Tibeto-Burman stock of people whom we now call the Rakhines of Arakan. To call these indigenous people of Arakan — who identify themselves as the Rohingyas in Burma — “unwanted guests” is like calling the Native Americans unwanted refugees who had settled in America after the influx of the Europeans. As much as no massacre of yesteryears and ghettoization of the Native Americans today in designated American Indian Reservation camps has been able to obliterate their genuine right, place, history and identity to America, no Myanmar government and local Rakhine sponsored pogroms can erase the rightful identity of the Rohingya people of Burma. History and justice is one their side.
As hinted at above, reading Mr. Win’s win-win formula is like reading a borrowed page from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. One simply has to change the words ‘Jewish’ to ‘Muslim’ (or as Mr. Win puts it ‘Mujahid’) and ‘Communists’ to ‘Chinese’ to see the similarity with his fascistic ideas. Mr. Win feels threatened by these ‘4 million Chinese immigrants’ who are more numerous than the Rohingyas and who apparently have made Mandalay their ‘second capital after Beijing’. His solution: he wants them deported to Muslim-populated Arakan state. As to the Rohingyas – the other ‘peril’ – he wants them forcibly deported to the eastern part of Burma. He wants a special ID card issued to these two ‘alien’ groups and ‘compel them to respect the local Burmese laws and customs’. He says, “If anyone refused to go along with this order then he must be persecuted according to law and finally deported to the country of its origin. In this way it will stop the illegal immigrants entering the country by fair or foul means. Just by looking at the features of the person one can pin point that he is an illegal immigrant from China if found in the Mujahid area or Bangali in Chinese dominated area. We will have to take drastic action once caught. This will solve the problem at least for half a century until their children got married to each other or the local population.” Towards assimilation, of course, “all these aliens must become Burmese.”
As to the funding for this cross-country forced ‘mass exodus’ (relocation) project, he opines, the Burmese government won’t have to ‘spend a single Burmese pyar’ (cent or penny) since the 31 INGOs (international NGOs) will ‘gladly fund.’
Mr. Win seems genuinely concerned about Burma’s image abroad as a racist country. He says that his solution would “paint the picture that Burma accepted all these aliens both Bengalis and Chinese, mercifully and magnanimously in as much the Burmese refugees are accepted in the West in all these 50 years. It will earn credit in taking her rightful place in the family of nations.”
I don’t know whether to take him seriously; after all, his win-win solution relies on forced eviction and encampment similar to the fate that awaited the Jews and gypsies in the Nazi-era. I smell fascism there. He refuses to open his mind to the fact that the Rohingyas are not aliens to the soil of Arakan, but they are the locals who had settled before his own Rakhine/Burmese race. Simply because of their darker color (more like Buddha’s) and different religion, they cannot be called aliens. Nor can they be denied citizenship simply because the English colonial government did not record them under the name Rohingya but as Muslims (or Mohamedans). [Note; The English rulers used the terms like Mugh and Magh for the Arakanese Buddhists, who now are known by the name Rakhines.] The Rohingyas don’t need to be forcibly relocated and encamped away from their ancestral homes (and surely not murdered) but need to be integrated within the broader society by restoring their full citizenship right, as is currently enjoyed by Mr. Win’s own Rakhine Buddhist community which has no greater claim to the soil of Arakan.
He is also concerned about the image of his faith as a result of on-going pogroms directed against the Rohingyas of Burma. He says: “But most importantly of all, is that it has a very bad and negative impression on Buddhism especially the Theravada Buddhism, when Buddhism is considered to be the most compassionate religions of the world. How are the followers of Lord Buddha, Burmese Buddhist in general, and Rakhine Buddhist in particular, practice their compassion to the other human being not similar to them, when in face. Lord Buddha has showed several ways to curb their own passion and desires.”
I wish, on this note, his community – the Rakhine and Burmese Buddhists – had agreed and taken positive measures to change their bad image. With such persecution of the Rohingyas, the Rakhine Theravada Buddhists and their partners-in-crime the Burman Buddhists, have repeatedly shown that they are no better than the criminal co-religionist perpetrators of some of the worst crimes in human history in places like Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
It is, however, never too late to reform. I hope Mr. Win and his people have the inner wisdom to evaluate their past actions and reform, making our world more inclusive and tolerant of other people and their faiths and customs. And they can start that process by campaigning for renouncing the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law – which for decades has epitomized racism and bigotry in our time. Truly, if Burma is to succeed and meet its true potential, it must learn to get along with others. There is no shortcut about it. The sooner they learn this and amend their ways the sooner will be the dawning of a better future.
[About the author: Dr. Siddiqui has authored 11 books, co-edited one and written a chapter for another book.]
“The Israelis are planning to justify aggression against Lebanon, and given Israeli attempts to hold Hezbollah and Iran responsible for the Bulgaria attack at the Black Sea airport of Burgas in which five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver were killed Hezbollah disarmament is essential,” the press releases from the Mustaqtbal headquarters warn.
“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …”
Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.
He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.
He contribute to Uprooted Palestinians Blog
Please Sign http://www.petitiononline.com/ssfpcrc/petition.html
In the last 75 years, radio, television, and now the Internet, have radically altered the ways people are able to get their messages out to the public. Ironically, however, in America it seems to be the old fashioned billboard on the side of the road, highway, or railroad track that is most arousing Zionist jitters these days.
Over the past few years, billboard advertising campaigns have been launched in a number of cities calling for an end to US aid to Israel. Reaction from Zionists has varied from city to city. In 2010 Zionists in Seattle waged a successful campaign to halt ads timed to coincide with the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead and which were contracted to appear on the sides of city busses. The ads bore the words “Israeli war crimes,” but were effectively killed before they even saw the light of day.
However, by spring of this year, things seemed to have changed somewhat. A series of billboards in Denver launched by The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel was met not with demands for removal, but by a counter campaign from the local chapter of Stand With Us, a pro-Israel organization. One SWU member, Dr. Shaul Gabbay, likened the “dueling billboards” in Denver to a somewhat spirited dinner conversation.
“Both perspectives are legitimate in terms of trying to influence the discourse here in the United States,” he said. “When you have just one voice, we make mistakes. When we have different and sometimes heated positions, then we can make better decisions.”
Fascinating! Israel supporters had progressed, so it appeared—from outright calls for censorship, such as was seen in Seattle, to at least putting on an appearance of being fair-minded and respectful of free speech, as portrayed in Denver.
And indeed, to Coalition members it seemed like a definite change in the wind had arrived, for they had fought long, hard battles with Israel supporters in an effort to get their ads accepted by billboard companies—battles going all the way back to 2009 when the Coalition put up its first billboards in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That campaign—featuring a picture of a young Palestinian girl and the words “Stop Killing Children: No More Military Aid to Israel”—got axed a mere three weeks into what had initially been a two month contract period.
Now, however, SWU seems, once again, to have done an about-face on the issue, and it isn’t only them. Recently the ADL criticized a New York-area billboard campaign showing dispossession of Palestinians from their land through a series of maps, and a New York Assembly member has called for the ads to be taken down. This controversy comes on the heels of the squelching of the Coalition’s recent Los Angeles campaign, a campaign featuring ads identical to the ones in Denver but which, as it turned out, met a far different fate.
The L.A. ads were contracted with CBS Outdoor Advertising, a subsidiary of CBS, and went up June 11 at 23 billboard locations throughout the city. Their removal just a week later was cheered by SWU:
“People and companies should avoid getting entangled with these anti-Israel activists,” said SWU CEO Roz Rothstein. “They distort facts, exploit the good name of organizations and companies, and harass those who disagree with them. We certainly hope that well-meaning people who want peace in the Middle East are not duped by their manipulations.”
What distortion of facts? What manipulations? The ads read simply, “Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military”—with the American flag as a backdrop. More importantly, in calling for “people and companies” to “avoid getting entangled with these anti-Israel activists,” is Rothstein not issuing what in effect amounts to a call for censorship?
“Yes, Stand With Us appears to be calling for censorship,” said Armen Chakerian and Susan Schuurman, of the Coalition to Stop 30 Billion, who recently discussed the matter in an email exchange with this writer. “Contrast their position with our position, which invites everyone with a fact-based perspective on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and American support for that treatment to debate these issues in the sunshine-filled open, not behind closed doors of members of Congress’s offices.”
They add: “We are confident that a rational debate will educate the American people who are too busy putting food on the table and paying their mortgages to wade through the myths in the AIPAC-scripted rhetoric we hear coming out of too many politicians’ mouths.”
But an open debate in the marketplace of ideas appears to be what Zionists cannot tolerate. At its website, SWU, in rather exultant tones, announced the removal of the ads in two separate articles (here and here ), lambasting the Coalition for “distorting the facts,” and labeling the group “a fringe, extremist movement that seeks to harm the U.S. and one of our most valuable allies, Israel.”
The “before” and “after” graphic you see at the top of this post accompanied one of the SWU articles, appearing underneath the headline “Anti-Israel Billboard Campaign Removed in Los Angeles,” while the other article, headlined “Anti-Israel Billboards Are Taken Down,” featured just the photo of the censored billboard by itself.
SWU got one thing right. The billboards were indeed taken down. But what facts did the Coalition distort? It is here SWU engages in some fact distortion of its own, as it accuses the group of implying “through its literature and fundraising appeals that CBS Outdoor actually supported its anti-Israel cause.”
Did the Coalition really claim that CBS agreed with its call for an end to US military aid to Israel? Well, Stand With Us says they did—and to bolster this allegation they point to a) an online petition the Coalition set up calling on people to thank CBS for accepting the ads; and b) an article that appeared at Mondoweiss under the headline “Billboard campaign to end US aid to Israel hits LA—thanks to CBS.”
Taking these in order: the online petition praises CBS for “posting billboards in Los Angeles that call for an end to American military aid to Israel” and lauds the company for “demonstrating its support for the basic American tradition of free speech.” Nowhere in the four sentences of the petition can there be found any assertion that CBS agrees with the Coalition’s political views on Israel.
The article at Mondoweiss, announcing the “exciting news” that the billboards had appeared in L.A., was posted on June 13—two days after the ads went up. In it, reporter Annie Robbins points out that “this is the largest advertising campaign launched by Stop 30 Billion thus far,” and that “millions of Americans will be exposed to these billboards every day as commuters in the country’s second largest metropolitan area are stuck in traffic on some of the most congested roads in the world.” But as in the case with the petition, nowhere in Robbins’ story is there any assertion that CBS agreed with the message on the billboards.
Nonetheless Rothstein insists that “factual distortions” occurred, and alleges that such distortions “characterize the anti-Israel campaigners.” She also faults the Coalition for failing to “let the public know how much U.S. aid to Israel benefits America and the American economy because 75 percent of it must be spent in this county” and comments additionally, “They also mislead the public about who supports their movement, as they did with CBS Outdoor.”
“People and companies should avoid getting entangled with these anti-Israel activists. They distort facts, exploit the good name of organizations and companies, and harass those who disagree with them. We certainly hope that well-meaning people who want peace in the Middle East are not duped by their manipulations,” she concludes.
“We would never have been so naïve as to assume or claim that CBS shared our point of view regarding U.S. foreign policy,” counter Susan and Armen. “There’s a big difference between supporting free speech and endorsing our specific position. Our petition thanked CBS for giving us the same opportunity to put up our message as any other advertiser without discrimination or censorship.”
They also point to the fact that both articles at the SWU site are filed under the tag “Anti-Semitism,” which in their view “says a lot.”
“Activists working on Palestine solidarity work can only hear that charge so many times before that label becomes nearly meaningless. Many of our members are Jewish and we reject the notion that they are ‘self-hating’ Jews.”
Ads critical of Israel are also under fire in Westchester County, New York, although they apparently have not, at least as of yet, been taken down. Some locals, however, are endeavoring mightily to achieve that. One is New York State Assembly member Robert Castelli, who on July 13 wrote a letter to the president of MTA Metro-North calling for the ads to be expunged. Somewhat like a child trying to have his cake and eat it too, Castelli in his letter presents himself as a supporter of the First Amendment—while at the same time advocating censorship:
I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment right of free speech in the Constitution, and certainly a proponent that the people of Israel and Palestine should live in harmony together.
However, the subliminal message that this particular billboard carries is an anti-Israeli message that I believe has just the opposite effect of creating peace and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people. I therefore believe that it would be in the best interest of our communities to remove the billboard, for the sake of peace and harmony in our community.
Appearing mainly in train stations, the ads were placed by the Committee for Peace in Israel/Palestine, or COPIP, and depict a series of four maps that are familiar to most Palestine solidarity activists. There is nothing offensive or “anti-Semitic” about the text or imagery. Nonetheless Castelli seems to feel local Jews are in danger of being traumatized by the message:
I submit to you that by its very nature, it is inflammatory and directs a negative message towards the State of Israel and her people…
Therefore, I respectfully request that you consider, out of respect for the many Jewish members of our community, and people of Israeli origin living in our community, the prudence of removing this, post-haste.
The ads have also come under fire from the ADL, which views COPIP as “virulently anti-Israel,” a label that seems more than a tad bit overblown. If you go to the COPIP blogsite you’ll find an article by Uri Avnery, as well as links to Jewish Voice for Peace, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and other relatively moderate organizations. The blog roll even includes a link to the liberal Zionist J Street—but none of this seems to be taken into account by ADL.
“These billboards are deliberately misleading and biased and come with an agenda that is fundamentally anti-Israel,” said Ron Meier, ADL’s New York regional director, in a press release on the organization’s website. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps.”
Is the Palestine-Israeli conflict really that “complex”? How hard is it for a layperson to fathom the idea that construction of illegal settlements on unlawfully occupied land might be a hindrance to peace? The ADL press release stops short of calling for the ads to be cancelled, yet it voices no opposition to Castelli’s call for the same.
“This ad campaign completely ignores the facts, including the history of land ownership prior to 1948, Israel’s repeated efforts to exchange land for peace, and the commitment of successive Israeli governments to achieving a two-state solution with the Palestinians,” Meier says.
The issue of the illegal settlements goes unmentioned, both in Meier’s statement and in the ADL press release.
The question arises as to how closely Castelli and the ADL may be working together. In calling for the ads to be cancelled, did Castelli allow the Jewish organization to avoid being sullied by having to issue such a censorship call itself? Perhaps the lawmaker’s letter gives us a clue:
I have forwarded, along with a photograph of the billboard, a background letter from the Anti-Defamation League, which I believe you should read thoroughly when considering what your options are in this case.
You have always been very receptive in the past. I hope this matter can be resolved quickly. Should you wish to discuss the matter with me further, I am, as always, at your disposal.
So far as I know, the contents of the ADL letter mentioned by Castelli have not been made public.
Castelli isn’t the only politician joining the attack against the End Aid To Israel billboard movement. On June 21, California Congressman Howard Berman sent a letter to The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion upbraiding the group for its L.A. billboard campaign.
As a member of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation, and the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I have heard from many of my constituents in the San Fernando Valley concerned about the numerous billboard advertisements your organization has placed throughout the LA area. As a strong supporter of the Constitution, I do not question your right to publicly air your views — even if I must drive past them every morning. However, as a Member of Congress who represents a community that overwhelmingly values the strong bond between Washington and Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent and allow your anti-Israel message to go unanswered.
As the “Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,” Berman obviously hopes to convey his firm grasp on how “complex” the Palestine-Israeli conflict truly is, and he goes on to assure Coalition members that “you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship.” He also alludes to “threats to wipe Israel off the map,” though surprisingly makes no mention of Iran.
An excerpt from Berman’s letter to the Coalition—publicly released and posted on the congressman’s website—is also quoted at the SWU site…specifically the following passage boasting of America’s presumed leadership of the ubiquitous but undefinable “international community”:
We are the leading voice in the international community, and have the world’s most powerful military, yet your organization would have us abandon our closest ally in the Middle East and allow its deterrent capability to wither on the vine. That is not the way to demonstrate international leadership.
But Armen and Susan say it all kind of depends on how you look at it.
“We may be the leading voice in the international community, but at the UN only three nations in the world regularly agree with the U.S. government on issues involving Israel: the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau, with a combined population smaller than Modesto, California, and all economically dependent on the U.S. Government,” they said.
“With 200 nuclear weapons deliverable by land-based missiles and by submarine-launched cruise missiles, Israel’s deterrent capability is in no danger of withering,” they added. “Israel may be our closest ally in the Middle East, but that doesn’t mean this alliance is in our national interest. Our support has little to do with rational considerations of strategic advantage and much to do with American domestic politics.”
CBS did not return phone calls requesting clarification on why it cancelled the ads. Susan and Armen say they were informed in a curt email that the decision was made because “your organization has used the ‘CBS Outdoor’ name without permission”—apparently in its online petition.
“Our belief is that CBS manufactured an excuse to pull down our billboards because of their controversial nature,” they said. “We’ve been thrilled with the response we’ve gotten to our campaign to call CBS and ask for our billboards to go back up. Whether or not the billboards go back up in this community using this company, we are confident that this message continues to resonate with a growing number of Americans every day. In fact, another major city is already planning its own billboard campaign inspired in part by our continued success.”
Billboard Wars: Do the Same Rules Apply to Both Sides?
The word most in vogue with Zionists these days is “incitement.” Anytime a billboard criticizing Israel pops up, incitement is the charge that seems to get leveled. One becomes guilty either of inciting against Israel, or against the Jewish people as a whole.
The word incitement is used five times in a 2011 press release put out by the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative attacking this Seattle billboard—an ad that remained up only a few days before being censored:
More recently, following the cancellation of this series of ads in Los Angeles…
The word is also featured prominently at numerous pro-Israel web sites ( for example here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, to name but a few), and even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who in the past has been accused of chronic submissiveness toward Israel and the US, now finds himself branded a vicious inciter of hatred against the Jewish state. If Abbas can be so judged, what hope is there for the rest of us?
But it isn’t only the hive-mentality adoption of certain words that we are witnessing in the electro-magnetic hasbara waves sweeping America currently. Consider: politicians have clout with the business community. That’s the way things work. The business of America is business, and when powerful politicians start calling on billboard companies to remove advertisements they dislike, the ad’s chances of remaining up are not especially good.
On July 13, Robert Castelli, a member of the New York State Assembly, wrote a letter to Howard R. Permut, president of the MTA Metro-North Railroad, calling for removal of billboards that had recently begun appearing at train stations in Westchester County, New York. The ads show the loss of Palestinian lands over a 64-year period through a series of four maps. The Metro-North Railroad is a subsidiary of New York’s state Metropolitan Transportation Authority. How long will such ads stay up with that kind of pressure coming down from a state Assembly member?
“While this billboard has been placed by an organization calling itself the ‘Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine’ (COPIP), and there is no offensive language on the message, I submit to you that by its very nature, it is inflammatory and directs a negative message towards the State of Israel and her people,” Castelli states in his letter to Perlmut.
“You have always been very receptive in the past,” the state assemblyman goes on to remark. “I hope this matter can be resolved quickly. Should you wish to discuss this matter with me further, I am, as always, at your disposal.”
Meanwhile, out on the west coast, California Congressman Howard Berman has joined in a series of attacks upon the billboard campaign of the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel and their ads featuring an American flag as a backdrop with the words “Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military.”
In a June 21 letter—sent to the Coalition and also posted on his website—Berman describes Israel as “a small nation surrounded by countries and terrorist groups that are committed to its destruction” and lets it be known he cares little for the signs.
As a member of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation, and the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I have heard from many of my constituents in the San Fernando Valley concerned about the numerous billboard advertisements your organization has placed throughout the LA area. As a strong supporter of the Constitution, I do not question your right to publicly air your views — even if I must drive past them every morning. However, as a Member of Congress who represents a community that overwhelmingly values the strong bond between Washington and Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent and allow your anti-Israel message to go unanswered.
In a press release accompanying the letter, put out by his congressional staff, Berman additionally remarks:
My constituents sent me to Washington in large part to fight for a stronger U.S.-Israel relationship. This has been, and will continue to be one my (sic) top legislative priorities in Congress. I am not going to stand by and remain silent as some outside group comes into our community with these outrageous billboards calling for an end to our security partnership with Israel. I believe in a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and so do my constituents.
The same press release goes on to quote Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean with the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center thanks Congressman Berman for his timely, focus (sic) and informed rebuke of the group whose anti-Israel campaign is based on a lie. At a time when thousands of innocent men, women and children are butchered by the regime in Syria, when Christian Copts are targeted for terrorism violence and threats in Egypt, it is telling that this group continues to pursue its extreme anti-Israel propaganda campaign, something that won’t help a single Palestinian.
Berman has been in Congress for 29 years. How closely will billboard companies sit up and take notice when a Congress member with this much seniority voices displeasure at something? The answer to this perhaps remains unclear, although well worth noting is that the ads were cancelled.
Presumably in an effort to offer “balance” to the debate, the pro-Israel side has joined the fight with billboards of its own. The above-mentioned American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), headed by Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog, sought in September of last year to place ads on the sides of New York City busses depicting Israel and its supporters as “civilized” and opponents of the Jewish state conversely as “savages.” Specifically, the content would read: “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” At a cost of approximately $25,000, the ads were to have run on some 318 New York City busses for a total of four weeks.
The ads were expressly represented as a response to this ad which had been put up in the same area by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:
But the AFDI’s ad was rejected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the grounds that it violated its policies prohibiting “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.” Does a public transit authority have the legal right to refuse ads that might promote racism? One would reasonably assume they might.
However, AFDI took the case to court, claiming the MTA had violated its free speech rights, and on July 20, U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled that the transit agency must allow the ads:
As a threshold matter, the Court notes that the AFDI Ad is not only protected speech—it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and implicitly calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict. The AFDI Ad is, further, a form of response to political ads on the same subject that have appeared in the same space. As such, the AFDI Ad is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.
Other than upholding the “free speech” rights of corporations to purchase elections, it is relatively rare these days to find a US court issuing a ruling validating the first amendment. As the Occupy protests have shown, the right to publicly assemble and engage in free speech has been all but abrogated for many average Americans. Engelmayer’s entire 35-page opinion may be accessed here.
Another question, of course, is would this same judge—or any other judge in America for that matter—have issued a ruling requiring a transit authority or billboard company to accept ads depicting Jews as “savages”? In the climate that exists in the United States today—where people have paid heavy prices for voicing criticism of Israel or Zionism—it is hard to imagine such a ruling being handed down.
The irony of all this is certainly not lost on members of the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion, which made a deliberate decision back in 2009 to soften and tone down its message in order to increase chances of getting its ads accepted by billboard companies. The Coalition’s very first billboard went up in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 8, 2009. It is important to remember—this was three months after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in the deaths of some 1,400 Gazans, approximately 300 of whom were children. The ads read: “Stop Killing Children: No More Military Aid to Israel.”
Immediately howls of protest erupted. Local media covered the controversy, and Sean Hannity led off one of his daily radio shows by blasting the signs. It was apparently all too much for Lamar Outdoor Advertising, which took down the ads three weeks into what had initially been a two-month contract period. Lamar’s local manager in Albuquerque commented that “the advertising was removed due to numerous complaints questioning the facts.”
Coalition members Armen Chakerian and Susan Schuurman say a decision was made at this time to tone down the message—to “Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military”—and it seemed to work. They were able to put up two full-sized billboards at two locations for several months each.
But the road ever since has been filled with ups and downs. Ads identical to the ones that were censored in L.A., were accepted in Denver earlier this year. But that was in April. Now the campaign being waged by the pro-Israel Stand With Us organization is (see story above) is beginning to grow rather virulent.
“People and companies should avoid getting entangled with these anti-Israel activists,” says SWU CEO Roz Rothstein. “They distort facts, exploit the good name of organizations and companies, and harass those who disagree with them. We certainly hope that well-meaning people who want peace in the Middle East are not duped by their manipulations.”
Statements like this could be viewed as a sign of paranoia in Zionist ranks over Israel’s deteriorating public image and its crumbling legitimacy—and indeed that seems to be how Chakerian and Schuurman look at it.
“It’s really beyond the realm of credulity to think we’d be so green to think CBS was explicitly endorsing our position. Then again, maybe we are setting the bar too low. Perhaps we should start expecting large media corporations to see what the rest of the world is beginning more and more to see, namely that the Israeli government has gone too far and that the tired, old clichés about anti-Semitism in response to justified criticism of Israeli policy just aren’t cutting it anymore.”
Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.
The Yang/male force of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.
The Yin/feminine force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.
As a struggling Christian Anarchist [most anarchists would NOT even engage in politics] but for this fiscal conservative, spiritual and social progressive, I say we all fight a spiritual battle and it is on my heart/conscience to fight it in the political realm.
No religion owns God and no church owns Jesus.
Christian anarchists know inner freedom comes by way of doing the teachings of Jesus- for Christianity is more than a religion- it offers a new vision of life and a wide awake way of living it!
Christian anarchists are critical of all outer authority, be it Church or State.
Good and evil cut through every human heart and all Free Will means is that we get to choose which rules.
All individuals have free will and thus all are free to choose whether or not to also seek and knock on the door of our own heart that Jesus stands behind and that is the door of Conscience!
Jesus envisioned a society based on love and tolerance, which is completely incompatible with war and all violence.
When Jesus was mocked, whipped and nailed to a cross and remained NONVIOLENT he was over throwing the status quo of violent retaliation and eye-for-an-eye mentality.
Not many of his ‘followers’ have been able to drink from that cup of The Prince of Peace, which is another name for Jesus Christ who commanded his followers to LOVE all people and to forgive ones enemies in order to be forgiven-NOT bomb, shoot at, torture or militarily occupy them!
If there be a Christian Manifesto beyond the Sermon on the Mount, it is Leo Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is Within You
Tolstoy understood that the command “Thou shalt not murder” meant that all governments who wage war are directly affronting the Christian principles that should guide all life-and shouldn’t being pro-life really be about honoring the sacredness of every life that already is?
Tolstoy wrote to separate Orthodox Russian Christianity, which had merged with the State, for it left behind the true message of Jesus Christ, as contained in the Gospels, specifically the Sermon on the Mount.
Tolstoy understood that NONVIOLENCE was the solution to nationalism- whose very essence reeks of superiority and that is NOT Christ like!
Tolstoy also critiqued the heresy of the church of his time, “Nowhere nor in anything, except in the assertion of the Church, can we find that God or Christ founded anything like what churchmen understand by the Church.”
The Kingdom of God Is Within You was banned in Russia and was first published in Germany in 1894.
It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy’s meditating-meaning thinking about the Christian life.
He offered a new organization for society based on a literal interpretation of what Jesus said and when Christianity is lived rightly– it looks a lot like anarchism!
What follows are a few excerpts from Tolstoy’s THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU: CHRISTIANITY NOT AS A MYSTIC RELIGION BUT AS A NEW THEORY OF LIFE
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32
I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church’s doctrine, which is usually called Christianity.
Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ [is] the principal one the absence of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force.
The perversion of Christ’s teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference…I knew what had been said on the subject by the fathers of the Church – Origen, Tertullian, and others – I knew too of the existence of some so-called sects of Mennonites, Herrnhuters, and Quakers, who do not allow a Christian the use of weapons, and do not enter military service.
There are many reasons why Christ’s teaching is not understood.
But the principal reason, which is the source of all the other mistaken ideas about it, is the notion that Christianity is a doctrine that can be accepted or rejected without any change of life.
Christ’s teaching is not only a doctrine that gives rules that a man must follow, it unfolds a new meaning in life, and defines a whole world of human activity quite different from all that has preceded it and appropriate to the period on which man is entering.
“It is unreasonable,” says the socialized man, “to sacrifice my welfare and that of my family and my country in order to fulfill some higher law, which requires me to renounce my most natural and virtuous feelings of love of self, of family, of kindred, and of country; and above all, it is unsafe to part with the security of life afforded by the organization of government.”
But the time is coming when, on one hand, the vague consciousness in his soul of the higher law, of love to God and his neighbor, and, on the other hand, the suffering, resulting from the contradictions of life, will force the man to reject the social theory and to assimilate the new one prepared ready for him, which solves all the contradictions and removes all his sufferings – the Christian theory of life.
And this time has now come.
We are guided in economical, political, and international questions by the principles that were appropriate to men of three or five thousand years ago, though they are directly opposed to our conscience and the conditions of life in which we are placed today.
The antagonism between life and the conscience may be removed in two ways: by a change of life or by a change of conscience.
Humankind has suffered too many unnecessary, fruitless agonies much akin to the throes of birth pangs for humankind has resisted the simple truth that only “the truth shall make you free.”
If I had to choose to pursue only one passion in my life, it is to speak truth and seek to bring in the kingdom of God.
And the kingdom of God comes from above and it comes from within.
The kingdom of God is a kingdom of justice ruled by love and “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with THE TRUTH! It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
20th century Christian Anarchist, Peter Maurin penned:
“The world would be better off if people tried to become better, and people would become better if they stopped trying to be better off. For when everyone tries to become better off nobody is better off. But when everyone tries to become better everyone is better off. Everybody would be rich if nobody tried to become richer. And nobody would be poor if everybody tried to be the poorest. And everybody would be what he ought to be if everybody tried to be what he wants the other fellow to be [and] it is about time to blow the lid off.”
Another 20th century anarchist, Emma Goldman blew many lids off, but perhaps is most famous for saying:
If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!
If I can’t dance, I don’t want your revolution!
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.
In solidarity with all that, I also add if I can’t laugh and if I didn’t pray-it could not be my REVOLUTION!
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but The Spirit intercedes with groans deeper and with more meaning than any words.”- Paraphrase of Romans 8:26
“Bach gave us God’s word. Mozart gave us God’s laughter. Beethoven gave us God’s fire. God gave us music that we might pray without words.”-Proverb from a German Opera House
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE of Representatives and I approve of all of my messages.
|28-07-2012 – 13:44 Last updated 28-07-2012 – 13:44|
By Tariq Alhomayed
This commentary was published in Asharq al-Awsat on 23/05/2011
“What is required from Khaled Mishal today is not recognition of Israel without any real cost that would work in the interest of the Palestinian cause but rather that Mishal comes out and openly states that Mahmoud Abbas is an authorized leader for all Palestinians and that he has the right to negotiate with Israel for a period of three years and without conditions set by Hamas with the exception of one condition that nobody can be lenient towards and that is relinquishing Jerusalem.
[Mishal must also state that] Hamas is also obligated to what Abbas is obligated to for the sake of establishing a Palestinian state.
At that point Netanyahu would not be able to brag by saying that there is no Palestinian side to negotiate with or repeat slogans for media consumption and levy the international community against the PA and Hamas by saying that Israel is asking for a Palestinian clarification of the meaning of reconciliation with Hamas.” More
“We promised them with every revolution to rejoice their defeat and our next gloat will be soon from free Damascus, God willing, that’s a promise!”
In the past weeks, the streets of Tel Aviv have been witness to desperate people setting themselves on fire in protest at the growing social and economic inequalities and the rising cost of living in Israel.
Almost one year after 400,000 Israelis filled Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard in protest at the increasing economic difficulties, a wave of civil unrest and upsurges is again encompassing the state. The latest victim of the protests was the 57-year-old Moshe Silman, a disabled war veteran who sustained severe injuries after setting himself ablaze at a bus stop near Tel Aviv on July 14.
The death of Silman ignited widespread anger and frustration among the Israelis who have poured into the streets of Tel Aviv en masse since early July to call on the government to meet their socioeconomic demands in the light of the unprecedented recession and economic crisis in Europe.
New York Times wrote that many people have compared Silman to the Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi whose committing suicide on January 4, 2011 became the preface to the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring which totally transformed the political equations in the Middle East. However, the chained self-immolations in the past weeks in Israel are not exceptional. Although few may remember the tragic event, back in July 2004, an Israeli citizen named Mordehai Cohen set himself on fire in protest at the rejection of work license.
Moshe Silman was formerly a businessman, working in a messenger service; however, as the media reported, his business plummeted following the Second Intifada and his being unable to pay back the debt of the National Insurance Institute caused his homelessness. Irritated and hopeless, he set himself on fire, and a few days after the doctors said that 92 percent of his body had burnt, he passed away.
Before committing suicide, Silman wrote a letter, part of which reads, “I have no money for medicine or rent. I can’t make the money after I have paid my millions in taxes I did the army, and until age 46 I did reserve duty. I refuse to be homeless; this is why I am protesting.”
The other case of self-immolation in Israel took place when the 40-year-old Akiva Mafa’i who was identified as a 25 percent Israel Defense Force (IDF) veteran fired himself in an excruciating manner. The Defense Ministry denied that his self-immolation had any connection with his status as a military veteran, but his brother thinks differently. He says that IDF behaves toward the war veterans apathetically and indifferently, paying no attention to the fact that they have sacrificed themselves to “contribute to the state.”
Israel’s economic woes and popular protests at the deteriorating social, political and economic situation of the regime is nothing new. Financial hardships and increasing gap between the rich and poor in Israel have ignited widespread protests since last year. It can be said that Israel’s reliance on the United States and EU’s ailing economy has dragged it into the current crisis. EU considers Israel a “privileged partner.” EU is Israel’s first trade partner and in 2011, the bilateral trade between the two sides amounted to approximately € 29.4 billion.
But the economic indicators don’t carry promising news for Israel. As of December 31, 2010, Israel’s external debt revolved around USD 89 billion which roughly constituted 43% of Israel’s total GDP.
According to New Israel Fund, 20 percent of the Israeli citizens and one in three children live below the poverty line.
On July 24, the Israeli media published a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded an increase in the taxes and a considerable cut in the budget so as to prevent Israel’s economy from sliding into a more debilitating crisis.
Israel is sinking in poverty and foreign debt while its hawkish leaders spend lavishly on military equipments and buying state-of-the-art weaponry from different countries.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPR), Israel is the 18th country of the world in terms of military expenditure. This is while it receives an annual USD 3.09 billion from the United States in military assistance. And just recently, it was reported that the U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a U.S. Congress bill that allows the government to gives Israel another USD 70 million in military assistance.
All in all, Israel’s economy isn’t experiencing delightful days. The mass protests in Tel Aviv and other cities relate the bitter story of Israel’s failed economy. Perhaps it might be better for the Israeli leaders to deal with their people’s problems and think of solutions to get out of the current crisis rather than pulling out all the stops to suppress a defenseless, besieged people in Gaza, kill the innocent Palestinian children and women and design malicious plots to attack Syria and Iran.
This article by Pepe Escobar was originally published in the Asia Times.
Once upon a time, early in the previous century, a line in the sand was drawn, from Acre to Kirkuk. Two colonial powers – Britain and France – nonchalantly divided the Middle East between themselves; everything north of the line in the sand was France’s; south, it was Britain’s.
Many blowbacks – and concentric tragedies – later, a new line in the sand is being drawn by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Between Syria and Iraq, they want it all. Talk about the return of the repressed; now, as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Gulf Cooperation Council compound, they’re in bed with their former colonial masters.
Blow by blow
No matter what militarized Western corporate media spins, there’s no endgame in Syria – yet. On the contrary; the sectarian game is just beginning.
It’s 1980s Afghanistan all over again. The over 100 heavily armed gangs engaged in civil war in Syria are overflowing with Gulf Cooperation Council funds financing their Russian RPGs bought on the black market. Salafi-jihadis cross into Syria in droves – not only from Iraq but also Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan, following enraged calls by their imams. Kidnapping, raping and slaughtering pro-Assad regime civilians is becoming the law of the land.
They go after Christians with a vengeance.  They force Iraqi exiles in Damascus to leave, especially those settled in Sayyida Zainab, the predominantly Shi’ite neighborhood named after Prophet Muhammad’s grand-daughter, buried in the beautiful local mosque. The BBC, to its credit, at least followed the story. 
They perform summary executions; Iraq’s deputy interior minister Adnan al-Assadi told AFP how Iraqi border guards saw the Free Syrian Army (FSA) take control of a border outpost and then “executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers”.
The Bab al-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey was overrun by no less than 150 multinational self-described mujahideen  – coming from Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Chechnya and even France, many proclaiming their allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
They burned a lot of Turkish trucks. They shot their own promo video. They paraded their al-Qaeda flag. And they declared the whole border area an Islamic state.
Hand over your terrorist ID
There’s no way to understand the Syrian dynamics without learning that most FSA commanders are not Syrians, but Iraqi Sunnis. The FSA could only capture the Abu Kamal border crossing between Syria and Iraq because the whole area is controlled by Sunni tribes viscerally antagonistic towards the al-Maliki government in Baghdad. The free flow of mujahideen, hardcore jihadis and weapons between Iraq and Syria is now more than established.
The idea of the Arab League – behaving as NATO-GCC’s fully robed spokesman – offering exile to Bashar al-Assad may be as ridiculous as the notion of the CIA supervising which mujahideen and jihadi outfits may have access to the weapons financed by Qatar and the Saudis.
At first, it might have been just a bad joke. After all, the exile offer came from those exact same paragons of democracy, the House of Saud and Qatar, who control the Arab League and are financing the mujahideen and the anti-Syria jihad.
Baghdad, though, publicly condemned the exile offer. And the aftermath – in fact on the same day – was worthy of The Joker (yes, Batman’s foe); a wave of anti-Shi’ite bombings in Iraq, with over 100 people dead, duly claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaeda’s local franchise. Spokesman Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi energetically urged the Sunni tribes in Anbar and Nineveh to join the jihad and topple the “infidel” government in Baghdad.
The mujahideen/jihadi back and forth between Syria and Iraq has been more than confirmed by Izzat al-Shahbandar, a senior member of Iraq’s Parliament and close aide to Prime Minister al-Maliki. Baghdad even has updated lists. The crossover could only spawn more frenetic Orwellian newspeak, nailed by the website Moon of Alabama. 
Mujahideen and jihadis active in Iraq are now “Iraqi insurgents”. And mujahideen and jihadis active in Syria remain the usual “Syrian rebels”. They have been all decommissioned as “terrorists”. Under this logic, the Colorado Batman shooter may also be described as an “insurgent”.
Follow the money
As it stands, the romanticized Syrian “rebels” plus the insurgents formerly known as terrorists cannot win against the Syria military – not even with the Saudis and Qataris showering them with loads of cash and weapons.
Nor is there any evidence the regime is contemplating a retreat to the Alawite mountains in northern Syria, as evoked by this collective foreign policy blog discussion. After all the “rebels” do not control any territory.
What’s certain is who would profit from Syria being progressively balkanized. The House of Saud and Qatar would love nothing better than to have the civil war exported to Iraq and Lebanon; in their very narrow calculations, that would eventually yield fellow Sunni regimes.
So expect Saudi and Qatari funds buying every well-connected Syrian regime apparatchik in sight – even while the urban Sunni bourgeosie still has not abandoned the ship.
And as the civil war spreads out, a tsunami of weapons will keep inundating Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and of course Turkey, boosting assorted guerrilla outfits, Kurdish included – yet one more facet of now ostracized neo-Ottoman Turkey impotently watching nation states carved out of that 1920s colonial line in the sand being smashed.
Strategically, this will always be a war by proxy; essentially Saudi Arabia vs Iran – with the House of Saud behind hardcore Islamists of all colors compared to Qatar supporting “its” Muslim Brotherhood. But most of all this is the US-NATO-GCC vs Iran.
Israel’s motives go way beyond the Saudi/Qatari sectarian lust. Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has just excavated a Bushism – calling Iran-Syria-Hezbollah an “axis of evil”. What Tel Aviv wants in the long run is clear; for Washington, Obama administration or not, to bring down the axis.
Meanwhile, this long-term goal does not prevent Defense Minister Ehud Barak from getting crazy – speculating on an invasion of Syria based on a hypothetical transfer of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles or even chemical weapons to Hezbollah.
Washington for its part would love at least a pliable/puppet Sunni regime in Damascus to turbo-charge the encircling of Iran – without increasing Israel’s substantial fears. Meanwhile, what passes for “smart power” is no more than glorified wishful thinking. Here in detail is how pro-Israel functionaries in the US are designing post-Assad Syria. 
Meet the new Bane
For all its production values, NATO’s jihad – in conjunction with al-Qaeda affiliates and copycats – still has not delivered regime change. UN Security Council sanctions won’t be forthcoming, as Beijing and Moscow have already stressed three times. So Plan Bs keep surfacing all the time. The latest is straight from the Iraq playbook; Damascus will attack civilians with chemical weapons. This lasted only for a few news cycles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already made it clear; regime change is anathema, especially for a reason that eludes most in the West – jihadis at the gates of Damascus means they are a stone’s throw from the Caucasus, the possible new pearl in a lethal collar bound to destabilize Muslim Russia.
Blowback meanwhile is ready to strike like the Medusa. What is for all practical purposes NATO-GCC mujahideen/jihadi death squads will be more than happy to bleed Syria across sectarian lines – in the sand and especially in urban areas. It’s hunting season now, not only for Alawites but also Christians (10% of the population).
A foreign policy that privileges Sunni jihadis formerly known as terrorists to create a “democratic” state in the Middle East seems to have been conjured by Bane – the Hannibal Lecter meets Darth Vader bad guy in The Dark Knight Rises, the final chapter of the Batman trilogy. And yes, we are his creators. While the best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity, a masked Sunni jihadi superman is slouching towards Damascus to be born.
1. http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage /world-news/detail/articolo/siria-syria-15868/
4. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/07/nyt-terrorists-are -now-insurgents.html#comments
5. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/07/20/ inside_the_secret_effort_to_plan_for_a_post_assad_syria
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.
A growing refrain out of Syria is that widespread rape is taking place—and sanctioned by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
If so, this would not be the first time false or exaggerated allegations involving women or children were used to generate public anger and build support for military action. This is a particularly effective and cynical approach—in part because it appeals to the very constituencies most resistant to war and its toll: women and human rights advocates.
While rape is horrifically common throughout the world, and more so in conflict zones, so, too, are “psychological operations” intended to shape perceptions and outcomes. Many regimes, particularly authoritarian and totalitarian ones, lie routinely to their people, but as the purported exemplars of high standards of truthfulness and accountability, the United States, Britain and their allies are expected to uphold those values.
Fomenting public outrage is hardly a new thing. Hitler used it to rally the German people. But it is not just genocidal maniacs abroad who manipulate public sentiment. Widespread opposition to US entry into World War I was overcome through an extensive range of propaganda efforts, including untrue stories of German soldiers bayoneting babies. Ironically and tragically, when credible indications of the Nazi death camps arrived in the United States, the government did nothing, the media punted, and the public, in part because of prior untruths, remained skeptical.
The UN report, interestingly, made no mention of widespread organized rape of women.
Nonetheless, an organized, calculated, Syrian government rape operation was portrayed recently in numerous news outlets, including The Atlantic. Here’s how the US-based international news website Global Post headlined it:
In the case of Libya, wide coverage of similar allegations was quickly followed by a growing Western chorus for the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. But once Qaddafi had been ousted by a huge international military effort, we no longer heard a peep about those allegations—nor saw proof that they were accurate. And now, with Syria an urgent priority and Western countries struggling to overcome Russian and Chinese opposition to intervention, the echo is loud indeed.
Rape allegations represent a separate and powerful appeal to emotion, distinct from charges of massacres. The Western media also carried unverified accounts of Qaddafi’s forces committing massacres of unarmed civilians that were never borne out and seldom publicly corrected. Meanwhile, more recent allegations that rebel Libyan forces—rather than Qaddafi’s—had committed massacres have not been investigated by the new Libyan authorities, who, after all, represent the victorious rebels.
Recently, as we noted here and here, early reports suggesting that Syria’s Assad and his force were solely or principally responsible for massacres of men, women and children have been negated by partial retractions—though anecdotal evidence suggests that many more heard and still believe the original claims than the subsequent cautionary reports.
A Story Fit For the Tabloids
The new rape allegations have a particular, horribly evil story line, beyond the magnitude of “normal” awfulness.
The GlobalPost story contained this sickening account:
Having not heard of Women Under Siege, we at WhoWhatWhy decided to check out the organization, contact it, and seek more details.
At the group’s website, we read this:
The couple said they spoke to 17-year-old girl who was raped and kidnapped when her family’s home was searched. The girl was subsequently “moved from one apartment to another for 15 days. Every apartment was guarded and had a woman responsible for five to 10 girls in the apartment. Every day, the girls were injected with a substance in their thighs, after which they became unable to move, and the shabiha [plainclothes militia forces] would rape them.”
More on Al Bahra here: He was born in Syria, and migrated to the US at 18, decades ago.
We contacted Mr. Al Bahra by email, seeking to interview him, but he did not respond.
Beyond that very vague “report” from Saudi Arabia, we know nothing.
We don’t know who the “Syrian expatriate” and her husband are. We have no way of knowing that they exist, and if they do, that they actually told Al Bahra the story posted on the Women Under Siege website. Even if they did, we don’t know that they are telling the truth. Even if they are, we don’t know that whoever told them that story was telling them the truth. And even if everyone is telling the truth, it still doesn’t mean that Bashar Assad is behind a campaign of deliberate sexual brutalization—or that such claims should be the basis for massive foreign military power to effect regime change in Syria.
Just a caveat, always needed in such articles: Assad is a brutal dictator, as exist throughout the world—and he and his family have been behaving brutally for decades. There is no particular evidence that his regime is demonstrably more vicious than it has ever been, excepting for his use of his military to suppress a foreign-backed domestic uprising at all costs.
Any fair comparison would have to take into account the amount of firepower, the fatalities and casualties incurred by Western military campaigns in places ranging from Vietnam to Iraq.
There also is no history of the United States and its allies insisting that other brutal, authoritarian (but allied) regimes such as those in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and the Gulf States also abdicate.
It Gets Worse
Here is another report from the Women Under Siege website:
Doctor tells of 2,000 women being treated in Damascus for rape
You can find the articles of incorporation of the Foundation here.
It was incorporated in Delaware—a low-disclosure state more typically favored by for-profits than non-profits.
The incorporator of the foundation was Asim Ghafoor of Sterling, Virginia. Ghafoor has been in the news in the past. He was political director of the now-defunct Islamic Free Market Foundation, cofounded by Grover Norquist, the influential GOP operative. Ghafoor, an attorney, was a partner in a consulting firm that advertised good connections with US Homeland Security (and for a time had a Redskins game skybox for rubbing elbows with bigwigs), though he also represented various charitable entities that were investigated for alleged terrorist ties.
We emailed and later spoke with Alatassi. We asked him if he could put us in touch with the Syrian doctor cited in his report. He said that he would pass along our request for a Skype conversation. We did not hear back from the doctor or Alatassi.
YouTube’s Astonishing Policy Influence
|Gloria Feldt, a president of Planned Parenthood,
the largest abortion clinic chain in the world.
In an interview, Gloria Feldt, a former president of Planned Parenthood and a member of the Women’s Media Center’s board of directors, said it was her understanding that the Syria project was an indirect outgrowth of conversations between Steinem and the author of a book about sexualized violence in the Holocaust. She said Steinem was struck by how “sexualized violence had gotten no recognition as one of tools of repression and genocide.”
Apparently, with Syria the current top story about war, the organization thought it would be an ideal place to document the role of sexual violence there. (Steinem herself was on a writer’s retreat and, according to her office, unavailable for comment.)
We spoke to Koenen while she was attending a conference in Brussels.
Koenen made clear that the group’s information is almost entirely second- or third or fourth-hand and largely comes from unverified web postings.
“The overall goal of the project is to map in real time alleged sexual assaults in Syria,” she said. “The reports we have thus far are mostly identified through researchers and activists who do systematic searches of the web—Google, YouTube, etc. Most results are from that. Some are from human rights groups, some from journalists.”
Koenen noted that a very few of the allegations have been emailed to them from individuals claiming direct knowledge.
She readily conceded that there is no way to know who is taking the time and effort to create such web postings. Presumably it is not victims themselves. And she agreed that such claims should be treated with caution. She did, however, note that it is difficult to obtain accurate, documented information in real time, and that waiting until the conflict is over is also not a viable option.
As for the trends from the inputs, Koenen says, “In the vast majority of reports we’ve received—about 70 percent, the perpetrators are government forces. The fact we haven’t received so many reports about the [opposition] Free Syrian army doesn’t mean they haven’t committed rapes. We have gotten a few.”
Koenen told us that Wolfe was imminently due to speak about rape in Syria on a panel at the United Nations, shortly before the Security Council was to take yet another vote on whether to dramatically increase sanctions against Assad.
Because of Russian and Chinese objections, the Security Council did not approve those sanctions. But the United States and its allies made clear they intend to go forward with toppling Assad, and do not need UN acquiescence. As the New York Times noted:
“We’re looking at the controlled demolition of the Assad regime,” said Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
By his own account, though, he is often skeptical of the value of inquiries.
And as Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Lieberman declared: “We like to do legislation,” Lieberman said. “We don’t like investigating … just to see who is at fault.”
Far fewer people who are reading the headlines about Assad being behind mass rapes are likely to read this caveat on the Women Under Siege site:
The thing is, rape is nearly impossible to confirm. …
For more on rape as a worldwide problem (including the fact that eighteen percent of women in the United States have been victims of rape or attempted rape), see this.
Finally, in order to advance the public interest, WhoWhatWhy makes this offer: We are a small nonprofit with limited editorial resources. But if someone of substantial means (though no agenda) will step forward to fund it, WhoWhatWhy will put a team in-country in Syria and try to establish whether the headlines accurately portray what is going on. We promise to report, fairly, whatever we find.
Religion Divides but Spirit Connects and “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”-Albert Einstein…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… John Lennon
“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”-Arthur Schopenhauer
In Have you heard the true tale of the Bedouin named Mohammed Ali, Read more…
I related the true tale of the Bedouin named Mohammed Ali and his 1945 discovery of what has become known as the Nag´ Hammâdi Library; a collection of ancient texts that were buried in the wilderness under the cliff of Jabl al-Tarif in Egypt, just above the bend of the Nile, north of the Valley of the Kings, across the river from the city of Nag´ Hammâdi, near the hamlet of al-Qasr, for safe-keeping from those who burned books.
These ancient compositions written in Coptic and Greek are now available in most every language.
These ancient texts offer NO new answers; but they do provide us with a glimpse of Christianity at its very roots, and it was most diverse indeed.
Many of the texts were considered Gnostic and banned by the church Fathers during the reign of Emperor Constantine and were ordered to be burned.
Gnosis is defined as knowledge discerned intuitively, and intuition is anathema to fundamentalists who prefer doctrines and dogmas, easy answers and who see black and white, but not shades of grey.
Today’s scholars agree that it is very possible the sayings in the Gnostic gospels are closer to the words Jesus actually spoke than what is found in the canonical gospels.
Two thousand years ago, there was lively debate about who Jesus was, and why he came.
Churches before Emperor Constantine legitimized Christianity were hot beds of individuality and not the institutions that have become big business today.
Jesus said he came that we would have life to the full; abundant life [John 10:10] and that takes deep thought, wrestling with The Divine and then taking action.
“To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others; and if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards to deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo, thought will starve to death.”-Jules Henry
The first mention of Israel in the Bible is in Genesis 32, when Jacob wrestled, struggled and then clung to the Divine being and was then renamed Israel.
Jesus was never a Christian; in fact the term ‘Christian’ was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus walked the earth as a man.
Jesus was a social justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up and challenged the job security of the Temple authorities by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already LOVED them just as they were: sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Military Occupation.
What got Jesus crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Occupying Forces, by teaching the subversive concept that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under Military Occupation above the elite and arrogant.
The early followers and lovers of Jesus were called members of THE WAY-being THE WAY he taught one should be;
Nonviolent, a Peacemaker and one who did the will of the Father.
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8
We are not just body and mind, we are also spirit; a trinity in one flesh that will decay and whither away.
When any part of the human trinity is out of balance, so will ones life be.
Life is a journey and the best trip one can embark upon, is by going within and wrestling with The Divine; and thus become Israel on the way.
“I said, you are gods: you are all children of the Most High God.”-Psalm 82:6
It has been said that evolution is being held up by fundamental religiosity and militant atheism is the new fundamentalism.
A fundamentalist is anyone who is so rigidly attached to their point of view they have closed their minds and hearts to the Mystery of The Ultimate Mystery of the Universe/Pure Being/God for lack of a better word.
The bumper sticker actually did get it right: “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
According to the 1987 classic, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, Dr. Scott Peck defines the spiritual life as fluid and that one may pass back and forth repeatedly through any of the four-probably more-stages of the soul.
Stage one upon this journey -that begins from within-is essentially our infancy in the spiritual life.
Like a wild child, a person in this stage reflects the inner chaotic and anti-social, unregenerate soul that is interested only in its own self-satisfaction and ego, much like the stereotypical spoiled child.
Stage one people may claim to love others, but their behavior reflects they love their own pleasure, money, power, prestige, and security above any other.
For stage one people, it really is all about them.
Stage two souls seek to “let their light shine” and will live virtuous lives and do many good works.
They also can be judgmental of others, self-righteous, rigid of thought, cold of heart, legalistic concrete literal thinkers and may even be guilty of a lukewarm faith.
They want to do right and they even may desire to love and please God, but have not yet fully opened up to the Inner Light, as Joan of Arc did when she challenged church and state and persisted that she had intuited God within -even while being fried.
Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32
Stage two souls have not yet been set fully free and prefer the security of a higher human authority than themselves for guidance.
They submit to institutions, scripture, dogma, ritual, ministers, or gurus.
This is the most appropriate stage for older children and most adults who live busy lives just trying to keep bread on the table and a dry roof above.
The difference between a stage one and stage two soul, is that a one wouldn’t even notice a neighbor in need, while the two has awoken to the fact that we are to be our neighbor’s keepers and they will respond to a friend-and like the good Samaritan, even to a total stranger in need.
Most theologians would agree that the opposite of faith is not disbelief: the opposite of faith is fear.
Stage three souls have not just fearlessly awoken, they have evolved!
This evolution has led them to the realization of what Christ was really talking about in the Sermon of the Mount AKA: The Beatitudes which sound like crazy promises, but are all about waking people up to The Divine within themselves and all others!
About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8
Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8
“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’
“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warned his disciples as he explained the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”
And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”
And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more and that is the Kingdom of God.
A stage three soul may well reject Christ as God, but often agree with the philosophy of Jesus, which Thomas Jefferson laid out when he weeded out the miracle stories from the gospels and clarified the teachings and ethics of Christ in: THE LIFE AND MORALS of JESUS of NAZARETH:
1. Be just: justice comes from virtue which comes from the heart.
2. Treat people the way we want to be treated.
3. Always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with COMPASSION.
4. Consider valuable the things that have no material value.
5. Do not judge others.
6. Do not bear grudges.
7. Be modest and unpretentious.
8. Give out of true generosity, not because we expect to be repaid.
9. Being true to one’s self in more important than being loyal to one’s family…those who think they know the most are the most ignorant…
A stage three soul will see that a neighbor is everyone on the planet and not just those who think and look the same and are born in the same geographical location.
Stage three’s are seekers, doubters, skeptics, agnostics and frequently adults who grew up disenchanted with institutionalized religion.
Their inherent intellectual curiosity leads them to seek their own way towards the Mystery of the Divine through philosophy and the study of multiple faith paths choosing and discarding according to their “inner light.”
Stage three souls often become activists for social justice and reform and the increasing wave of humanitarian secularism verses the bondage of religious dogma just may be the way to change the world as we now know it.
It has been said we are all called to be mystics in the market place and a stage four, such as Thomas Merton and Rumi give voice to that experience of the curtain being lifted and seeing through the glass a bit less darkly.
A mystic can best be understood as one who is in love with the divine mystery and is viscerally connected to the unity of all creation.
Mystics are not navel gazers, they feel the pain of the world within their hearts and grieve at what humans do to the other when they have no clue that The Divine is within the other as much as within themselves.
Mystics have detached from their concepts of God-not by their own efforts, but by the invitation and action of God upon a willing and simple soul in love with Pure Being/AKA: God for lack of a better word.
The mystic fool, Saint Francis, the leper kisser of Assisi, was so head over heels in love with God in everyone and all of creation that most people of his time considered him crazed, or at least, extremely eccentric.
One needn’t be a mystic or move beyond stage two on the spiritual journey to do what is good and right just because it is good and right.
On that foundation alone people of faith, agnostics and even atheists can surely find something to agree upon.
Or would only a mystic see that?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”-Proverbs 29:18
The ancients understood that God spoke to them in their dreams and visions.
The ancients told those stories around the campfires and those stories grew by the flame enkindled in the hearer’s hearts; transforming them into storytellers too.
In the gospel [good news] told in Mark 3: 31-35, the mother of Jesus’ and his brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him out. The crowd around Jesus told him, “Your mother, sisters and brothers are outside asking for you.”
Jesus replied, “I am here with my mother, sisters and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.”
From Micah 6:8 if we have eyes to see, we will KNOW:
“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.”
Being just means correct, true, accurate, right and fair.
Merciful is to have, feel and show compassion, that sense of viscerally feeling the pain of another and being moved to help.
Being humble is knowing yourself; the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
All Christians-from the most fundamental to those left of the progressives-are connected to the other as a sister and brother in the mystical Body of Christ.
It is a dysfunctional family and way past time to liberate Jesus from the bondage of institutional patriarchy for no church owns Jesus and no religion owns God!
HOW do we get there?
It begins in the heart and imagination, where all human creativity is birthed.
In 2003, I read an article in Presence Magazine written by a pastor of a church in Berkeley.
I no longer remember what the article was about, but he inspired me to email him a few of my theological questions. He replied something like this;
I once gave a sermon that began with the story of Rabbi Hillel, who lived 100 years before Jesus walked the earth.
Rabbi Hillel understood the Hebrew understanding of Hokema; Holy Wisdom; The Feminine Divinity, was the same as the Greek understanding of The Logos: The Word.
It was Saints John and Paul that understood The Logos: The Word was Jesus.
So with a little imagination you can imagine that before Jesus walked the earth a man, he was already a she; The Word, Holy Wisdom, Hokema, the feminine divinity.
I gave that sermon to a mainline conservative congregation. It didn’t go over well…
It read like GREAT news to me!
Ever since the days of Eve until the days of JC, the feminine was not equally valued.
Jesus is the first known man to blow apart the societal and religious taboos of speaking with females as fully equal.
Just one more example of how the male disciples would not, could not follow Jesus THAT closely!
And “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system”-Dorothy Day
Later male disciples, the Protestant Reformers, would not, could not accept the Book of Wisdom and threw it out of their canon, but the Catholics include it in their bible.
It has been said that some thought the Book of Wisdom was too Jewish–or perhaps too feminine!
The Book of Wisdom defines wisdom as: a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, and certain. Not baneful, but loving the good. Keen, unhampered, beneficent, kind, firm, secure, all-powerful, all-seeing and pervading all spirits. Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion and SHE penetrates and pervades all things by reason. SHE is the aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of The Almighty. SHE is the refulgence of eternal Light, a spotless mirror of the power of God. And SHE who is one, can do all things and renews everything, and passing into holy souls from age to age, SHE produces friends of God and prophets.- WISDOM 7:22-8:1
Wisdom has built her house and SHE calls to all; “Come, eat my food and drink my wine and you will live abundant life and walk in the ways of understanding.”-Proverbs 9
Number 9 Number 9 Number 9….Let all who are little come in here, Wisdom has built her house; come eat her food and drink her wine and walk in the ways of understanding…I’m so very small I’m so very small; already within the heart of every atom yet extend Beyond the Universe and connect every mother and child….Number 9 Number 9 Number 9…
Wisdom calls; “I have built it; will you come? Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear?
Holy Wisdom, the Feminine Divinity: Hokema,
Who was with The Word from the very beginning,
She is One with Him and He with Her;
Pure Being; One God;
One Creator and One Lover of All the Human Family,
Hokema; Holy Wisdom;, The Feminine Divinity
Same as The Logos:
This song by PINK FLOYD became the protest song of a group of South African students during that apartheid regime and the “laddie reckons himself a poet”
This ‘lassie’ reckons herself one too:
God is within every sister, brother and all of Creation
Get a clue Christian
His ways are not your ways
Her thoughts are not your thoughts
Dominion never meant to rape and plunder
But to nurture, care and love
And if you have not love
You have nothing at all!
And on that final day we all will stand naked before The Divine Mystery of The Universe
And we have been warned there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who had been so sure they were in;
Because they will be the ones left out!
Wake Up Christian and hear the wind begin to howl
For every misunderstanding
Every condemning thought
Every negative vibration
Every tear torn from a heart
Every time one grabbed and wouldn’t let go
Because they did not know:
The Divine is within every woman, man and child.
And for every tiny kindness you have ever done
Every gentle word spoken
Every time you held your tongue
Every positive thought
Every smile freely given
Every helping hand that opens
Helps bring in The Kingdom
And The Kingdom comes from above
And it comes from within.
IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all creatures and all men and All you need is LOVE:
And all We The People need to understand is that Christianity was founded by visionaries, rebels, dissidents and revolutionaries;
And so it also was with the United States!
And YES WE CAN Overcome:
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE and I approve of all of my messages.
“Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the License, the Syrian Support Group, Inc. (the “Licensee”) may export, sell, or supply to the Free Syrian Army (“FSA”) financial, communications, logistical, and other services otherwise prohibited by Executive Order 13582 in order to support the FSA…”
According to Treasury License No. SY-2012-294747-1, dated 23 July 2012, the Syrian Support Group, Inc. (SSG) will be providing “otherwise prohibited” services to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) under the supervision of the Office of Terrorism Finance and Economic Sanctions Policy at the U.S. Department of State. The license was announced on the SSG website syriansupportgroup.org after a copy was leaked to the public. According to the website, the SSG “was formed to promote the establishment of a free, independent and democratic Syria” and “we advocate military intervention by any willing country to ensure saving lives…”
These developments are astounding. It is extraordinary that the U.S. State Department would even have an Office of Terrorism Finance and Economic Sanctions Policy. Usually, such places are called the Office of Humanitarian Liberation and Promotion of Prosperity Policy. We haven’t had that kind of honesty in government office titles since the Department of War was renamed, and our government should be commended for not hiding the financing of terrorism behind a cloak of euphemisms.
It is also an entirely new role for the military. Usually we think of doctors, fire departments and humanitarian agencies as saving lives, often in situations of military conflict. For military intervention to be tasked with saving lives rather than taking them is therefore also revolutionary, and we may hope that this daring experiment will succeed.
Finally, we are entitled to be astonished that the SSG would invite “any willing country” to join the military intervention in Syria. That could be quite an array. To date, Russia, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya and probably many more might qualify. If an invitation were extended to North Korea, I’m sure it would receive favorable consideration.
Indeed, the Syrian Support Group is blazing a new trail in uniting the militaries of all these countries in peaceful humanitarian efforts. The photos on their website of soldiers with weapons that they obviously have taken out of combat and intend to destroy are an inspiration to us all.
We have to destroy the environment as quickly as we can.
These are the findings of the Movement for Environmental Sabotage and Subversion (MESS).
- Since human population is constantly increasing, reducing the average impact that each human makes on the environment will only delay the poisoning of the air and water, the extermination of species, global warming, weather changes and the destruction of resources necessary to maintaining human life, to say nothing of the rest of life on the planet.
- Delaying the devastation means that it will affect much larger numbers of humans than bringing it about more expeditiously, which has already been postponed far more than necessary. In effect, we are bequeathing the consequences of pollution and exhaustion of resources to our children and grandchildren, rather than suffering them ourselves.
- It is therefore incumbent upon us to destroy the environment as quickly and thoroughly as possible, so that we pay for our own actions, and not our descendants.
From Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem:
According to Abbas, Elections must come before Reconciliation.
Since the last elections Fateh and Hamas never stopped taking about Palestinian reconciliation. Hamas never stopped telling us that reconciliation is a strategic goal.
After storming his one brain Khalid Amayreh wrote: Palestinians must rearrange their priorities?
“The Palestinian Authority (PA) is trying desperately these days to maintain its precarious survival under the Israeli occupation. With empty coffers and no political breakthrough in sight, the Ramallah leadership is busy fabricating short-term “solutions,” rather than tackling and solving real problems.” he wrote without telling us what are the real problems, or how to tackle them.
“Last week, an Israeli cabinet minister was quoted as saying that the PA had only one and only reason for its existence, namely to serve Israeli security interests…If the PA failed to carry out this task to the letter, then it would lose its reason for existence as far as Israel is concerned.” he added.
The majority of Palestinians are aware that “that the PA is an authority without authority, a police state without a state, an entity unlike any other under the sun.”
It is him, Khalid Amayreh, who promoted, after the famous meeting of Mishaal and Abbas in Qatar, the illusion of reconciliation with the Ramallah Traitor. He said that History will remember Abbas as a sincere man who tried but failed.
“But how can the Palestinian people hold real elections under the current circumstances?” asked Amayreh.
“Hamas shouldn’t be carried away by PA harrowing toward organizing elections that could only allow Israel to claim that the Palestinian problem is nearly over and that most Palestinians live under the rule of the PA, not Israel.” he added “”Elections can be an acceptable option if proper guarantees are obtained from the international community to the effect that the occupying power wouldn’t interfere or intervene in the polls in any manner.”
So the real issue is not the “security coordination”, not the occupation. it is the election and the “grand names, such as President, Prime Minister, parliament, etc.”
“Since the military solution in Gaza in 2007…In the process of avenging the ousting of Fatah militias from Gaza, the PA arrested thousands, tortured hundreds, sacked many from their jobs and launched a witch-hunt campaign against the supporters of Hamas….This reign of fear and terror, which is yet to come to an end, must be desensitized first and foremost before any election can even be contemplated. And this takes time.”
So, Abbas won’t election first, without giving Hamas “minimal degree of freedom of speech and expression and freedom to campaign and hold election rallies.” And Hamas won’t reconciliation first to guarantee its share in the PA cake.
I understood and supported Hamas going to Cairo for reconciliation during Mubarak era. At that time Hamas had no other choice.
Now, after the so-called Arab spring Palestinians has the right to ask why Hamas don’t break with Ramallah, declare that west bank is occupied and declare a Palestinian state in ” liberated” Gaza?
Unfortunately, Hamas can’t do that and should comply with Mama’s priorities (Changing the regime in Syris), and Mama’s international comittments (Shalom for Israel)
|President Eisenhower in the Oval Office with Muslim delegates,|
MB petted on Obama, the new Eizenhower, and thier “SMART POLICIES”. On September 2009, after Obama’s famous speach in Cairo university, where he “declared commitment to achieve a “balanced” solution to the enduring Palestinian plight..”, Amayreh thought Obama is the Eizenhawer II, he asked three Palestinian intellectuals who have extensive knowledge of the American foreign policy in the Middle East.to voice thier opinions.
Abdullah Abdullah (Fateh) said: “Let’s Give Him a Chance”
Professor of political science at al-Najah National University Abdul Sattar Qassem said:
“I don’t see any genuine difference between Obama and (former US President George) Bush. I wouldn’t exaggerate if I said that Obama’s policies are essentially a mere carbon-copy of Bush’s policy. I think his promises and proclamations will eventually turn to be a mere illusion.”
Haider Eid, an English Lecturer at al-Aqsa University in Gaza.
“I believe that Obama’s efforts will meet a clarion failure, not only because of the Israeli refusal to end the occupation, and the mounting Nazi-like trends in the Israeli Jewish society, but also because of the conspicuous absence of the political will on the part of official Arab regime.”
However, unlike Qassem, Eid believes the failure of the Obama strategy in the Middle East will have “profound polarizing effects” on the Palestinians as well as through the region.
“There will be a sharp polarization between two camps: The camp of resistance, defiance, and steadfastness on the one hand, and the camp of subservience to American hegemony, on the other.”
We wittessed not only the failure of Obama’s middle east strategy, not only the polarization between the two camps, we wittnest the fall of two pillars of the camp of subservience to American hegemony.
The surprise was too see MB jumping to save Obama’s sinking ship, to stab the The camp of resistance, defiance, and steadfastness in the back, for a bone
On Tuesday, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Nevada, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney opined that the people of Israel deserve better diplomatic protection than that they have been receiving under President Barack Obama.
Romney accused the President of being “fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders” and the “people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States.”
Regarding Iran, Romney warned “there is no greater danger in the world today than the prospect of the ayatollahs in Tehran possessing nuclear weapons capability…The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon…The threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation is ever-present.”
Romney is on his way to visit Israel but he has uttered not a word about Israel’s WMD, which numbered up to 200 nuclear warheads in 1986, nor regarding the real wailing wall-Israel’s separation Wall.
“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
On page one of Jeff Halper’s, Obstacles to Peace, A Re-Framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, he wrote, “Missing from Israel’s security framing is the very fact of occupation, which Israel both denies exists…and that ‘security’ requires Israel control over the entire country…rendering impossible a just peace based on human rights, international law, reconciliation.”
Just a few weeks after his freedom of speech trial began on the same day Hamas was transparently and democratically elected in January 2006, Israel’s nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu taped this invitation to American Christians:
Vanunu was released from 18 years in a windowless tomb sized cell on 21 April 2004, under draconian restrictions that forbid him from leaving Israel and speaking to foreigners.
Vanunu explained, “This administration tells me I am not allowed to speak to foreigners, the Media, and the world. But I do because that is how I prove my true humanity to the world.
“The Israelis have 200 atomic weapons and they accuse the Palestinians and Muslims of terrorism. The Dimona is 46 years old; reactors last 25 to 30 years. The Dimona has never been inspected and Israel has never signed the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty but all the Arab states have.
“Twenty years ago when I worked there they only produced when the air was blowing towards Jordan ten miles away. No one knows what is happening now. The world needs to wake up and see the real terrorism is the occupation and the Palestinians have lived under that terror regime for 40 years.
“All the secrets I had were published in 1989 in an important book, by [Nuclear Physicist] Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East.“
Barnaby was hired by the London Sunday Times in 1986 to interview Vanunu, which he did for three days before Vanunu was kidnapped, clubbed, drugged and transported back to Israel by Mossad.
During Vanunu’s closed door trial, Barnaby testified testified, “I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.
“Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985.” 
After WW II, Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel’s Minister Of Justice, described the Emergency Defense Regulations which deny Vanunu his inalienable rights of freedom of speech and movement as “unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany.”
The establishment of Israel’s statehood was contingent upon upholding the UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS-and as a Member State America is obligated to hold ALL other Member States to it!
Article 13 affirms:
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 19 enshrines:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
1. BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010, by Eileen Fleming
I am Eileen Fleming for US HOUSE of Representatives and I approve of all of my messages.
“Whatever you may think of Revisionism and revisionists, you’ll be hard-pressed not to thrill to the story of MacKenzie Paine
MacKenzie Paine was the nom de guerre of Audre Pinque – revisionist and Palestinian solidarity Internet activist extraordinaire .
Audre died in a terrible car crash at 6.30 in the evening on March 12 2002, in Alabama, USA. With her death, all lovers of truth and freedom worldwide lost a vehement supporter and tireless advocate for justice.
Audre’s internet sign-off was as follows: “MacKenzie Paine battles intolerance disguised as tolerance from a dusty hilltop in Mexico” Audre did just that – a maybe died for it.
One of her last earthly communications was an email to a Palestinian revisionist, Dr. Ibrahim Alloush, which ended, “If I fly into Amman, can you meet me and point me in the right direction to Palestine?”This is the kind of book you’ll find in a youth hostel and then never forget.” Paul Eisen Director (UK) Deir Yassin Remembered
And here is my favourite MacKenzie Paine missile:
At the Museum of Tolerance
by MacKenzie Paine
Teaching tolerance through “Holocaust education” in the public schools is now the law in cities, counties, and states acrossAmerica. As revisionists are well aware, the standard account of the Jewish Holocaust taught in such courses is more than dubious. So too are the controversial methods, including “role playing” and similar types of psychological manipulation. But does Holocaust education really promote tolerance?
I recently had the opportunity to answer that question for myself when I visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center’sMuseum of Tolerance inLos Angeles. And, since it is our children who are now the chief targets of “Holocaust education,” I took my own two sons with me to gauge the museum’s impact, and their reactions.
Prior to our visit, I interviewed my sons on things the Museum of Tolerance regards as key issues for elementary school pupils. Their innocence was evident. They had no concept of Jewishness, were aware of no people or nation that was inherently evil, and knew of Hitler and the Nazis only what they had seen in Hollywood movies. They are both fifth-graders who attend a Catholic school in Mexico, and their outlook is entirely appropriate for their ages and life experience.
On a dreary Sunday morning in early March, we joined the long line for the Museum of Tolerance. Germar Rudolf, visiting town to discuss his role as an expert witness in David Irving’s upcoming appeal, accompanied us. We waited, along with dozens of school groups, as each visitor was subjected to a security procedure more searching than any airport or border check I’ve ever experienced.
After a short explanation of how the tour would proceed, we were pointed toward two large doors. Above them, bright red neon signs designated one door “Not-Prejudiced,” the other, “Prejudiced.” On a nearby video, a rather sarcastic actor challenged the visitors to consider whether or not they were prejudiced.
Then each of us was instructed to choose the door that matched our attitudes. As the already humbled mass ambled herd-like toward the “Prejudiced” portal, I opted to try the “Not-Prejudiced” door. It couldn’t be opened — it was fake. So began the brainwashing of yet another group of young Americans.
The first part of the tour is an emotional barrage of film clips and still photos showing racial strife, riots, and suffering Third World children. There may have been a European-American pictured without a Ku Klux Klan robe, but if there was I missed it. It hurt to see my sons viewing such violence and carnage, so I tried to rush them through as quickly as possible.
Then came the feature presentation, the Holocaust exhibit. The tour is self-guided, so there is no one to ask questions of, no one to challenge. The visitors simply go from one grayish display of mannequins and recorded “conversations” to another. All of them “explain” the political environment of 1930s Germany, without the least attempt at balance or accuracy. As Germar dryly commented after the causes of the Second World War had been neatly packed into a three-minute explanation, “They forgot to mention the Russian Revolution.”
The third part of the tour is an emotional assault on the psyche. I watched my two sons gulp, their eyes wide, as they viewed the usual photographs of heaps of corpses and listened to recorded descriptions of diesel gassings, viewed photographs “ordinary” Germans said to have helped the Nazis shoot Jewish civilians, black and white films of people carrying all of their worldly belongings, and more. All of these images flash across multiple screens in a darkened room, and the students absorb them like sponges.
Then came the grand finale, a forty-five minute lecture from Elizabeth Mann, a self-professed Holocaust survivor, to a now traumatized roomful of students and teachers. At the end of her monologue I asked Mrs. Mann why she had told so many impressionable young people that the Germans made soap out of Jewish corpses during the Second World War, when even the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum says that wasn’t so. She responded that she disagreed with the USHMM. How’s that? Differences of opinion are one thing, but arguing for a heinous accusation that has never been substantiated, and is dismissed by virtually all historians as false, is quite another. But this was lost on the students.
I next asked Mrs. Mann why she had told her audience that the “gas chamber” at Auschwitz was a dual-purpose shower room, which could be converted into a homicidal gas chamber with the flip of a switch. The lethal gas, she had told us, came out of the showerheads. When I pointed out that all the “orthodox” Holocaust literature on Auschwitz describes only rooms into which the poison was dropped — in granules — through windows or holes in the roof, the room erupted into hisses and boos. Mrs. Mann, saved by the booing, made no response.
Once outside the lecture hall, the students called me over to ask me how I could possibly question such a sweet, elderly woman who had suffered so much. They accused me of calling her a liar. I was happy to explain to them, as a mother to her children, that I hadn’t accused Mrs. Mann of lying. I had simply questioned some of the things that she had said. I looked out into the group and could see fear in some of the faces, as if they were being confronted by a lunatic with a gun, and I beseeched them to visit the USHMM’s Internet Web site and read for themselves what that museum’s authorities say about the soap libel, and about gassing at Auschwitz. When one of the teenagers asked me how I knew that soap wasn’t made at Auschwitz, Germar, identifying himself as a chemist, told them calmly that it would have been physically impossible to make soap out of human fat in the buildings atAuschwitz. There had been no facilities for such an undertaking.
With each of our responses the group became more unruly, sarcastic, and intolerant. Rather than ask responsible questions or make clear arguments, at last they resorted to taunting us, calling Germar a Nazi and telling us to “f___ off.” They frightened my sons, so we left, but not before they ended their outburst by chasing our van out of the underground parking lot. Their teacher was helpless to stop them, although she tried.
My sons and I learned a lesson at the Museum of Tolerance, a lesson about intolerance — taxpayer-funded, state-sanctioned intolerance — not merely of Germans and Christians and European-Americans, but also of intellectual curiosity and reasoned dissent. While I was able to “de-program” my sons with some healthy discussion and simple logic, I’m one of the fortunate few who have heard the revisionist side. If that angry mob of teenagers is indicative of the effect Holocaust studies have on our children, America risks schooling a generation in bigotry.
About the author
MacKenzie Paine battles intolerance disguised as tolerance from a dusty hilltop in Mexico.
After more than a century of secuarlisation, Egypt’s cultural life is set to revolve again around the Quran. “The Quran is our Constitution” exhorted President Mohamed Morsi during the cliff-hanger presidential election, Egypt’s first ever bona fide presidential election, in which he trounced the old guard’s representative. But what does this arresting image really mean, asks Eric Walberg
This Ramadan is a historic one, celebrating the triumph of the political vision of Egypt’s legendary Muslim Brotherhood (MB): to take inspiration from the Quran to regenerate Egyptian society. Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s socialist vision lies in ruins, dismantled in the 40 years since his death, replaced by a neoliberal nightmare dreamed up in American thinktanks.
The vision will not be realised by sticking to the political and economic policies of the past 40 years, policies which turned Egypt into a poor imitation of Western societies, with shocking disparities of income and extreme poverty, environmental degradation and human degradation. Egypt was shattered into fragments — gated communities for the super-rich, sprawling slums for the poor, traffic-choked streets for everyone, crowded jail cells for thousands of innocent, devout people caught in the treadmill of a justice system that produced little justice.
The West’s vision once again brought Egypt to the point where the quip by Muhammad Abduh, chief mufti of Al-Azhar 1899–1905, rings all too true: “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”
The task before the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Islamist president is daunting beyond description. He begins office in a political and economic straightjacket bequeathed to him by interim prime minister Kamal Al-Ghanzuri and acting head of state Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi — a budget already approved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, without a parliament, with the military supreme council holding almost all the cards.
But so far, these road blocks haven’t stopped the forces of the new Egypt. We are left to ask: How did the Brotherhood triumph against all odds, with the media, courts and the all-powerful military doing everything to undermine them? The answer is simple. It was the desperation of the poor and the quiet commitment of devout Muslims among all classes of Egyptian society.
However, even as they struggle against the entrenched, corrupt establishment, they can count on enthusiasts and a new spirit of reform within Muslim intellectual circles to help navigate the rocky shoals of the global secular establishment. Two such British Muslims, who washed up on the shores of the Emerald Isles from British colonies Egypt and India, and who have made important contributions to the debate about Islam and modernity, are Tariq Ramadan and Ziauddin Sardar, who advocate not just “modernising Islam”, but “Islamising modernity”, not just “adaptation reform” but “transformation reform”, as Ramadan writes in Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation (2009).
The trouble is, the West arrogantly demands that countries such as Egypt adapt to the Western version of modernity — the neocolonial order based on the US dollar, dominated by large Western corporations and a bristling military on hair-trigger alert around the world. It is okay for the US to run huge trade and budget deficits decade after decade, squandering its dollars on war, while forcing poor countries to “tighten their belts” when the mysterious flows of “capital” and the vagaries of the market result in even one year in the red. But this modernity, with its manifest injustices, is not the only one, and it is certainly not moral, as Egyptians have learned the hard way.
Tariq Ramadan is a Swiss-Egyptian academic, whose father was a prominent MB member exiled by Nasser and whose mother was MB founder Hassan Al-Banna’s eldest daughter. He has written about Islamic reform from a European Muslim’s point of view, rejecting the assimilationist position that Islam must adapt to modernity. “The Western equation secularisation = freedom = religious pluralism = democracy has no equivalent in Muslim-majority societies where, through the historical experiences of the past century, the equation would rather sound like secularisation = colonialism = de-Islamisation = dictatorship.”
He sees the very heterogeneous Western Muslims as playing a key role in developing a new approach to their religion, taking advantage of the West’s high level of education to promote ijtihad — independent reasoning based on a thorough knowledge of the Quran and hadiths — to adapt to modern life. For instance, to bring zakat up to date, “establishing a real system of collective solidarity and social security, woven into the very fabric of society, that aims at freeing the poor from their dependence so that eventually they themselves will pay zakat,” as he wrote in Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (2004).
Already, Western Muslims have decided that a very restricted use of interest — for mortgages on private homes — is acceptable, “a need which … becomes a constraining necessity”, according to a fatwa issued by the European Council for Research and Fatwas (ECRF) and the League of Scholars of Sharia in the US, using Abu Hanifa’s terminology. Interest is allowed for Muslims living in the non-Muslim societies in dealings with non-Muslims, but only when used to protect the property of Muslims.
But tweaking the old laws to meet dire needs today is not enough for Tariq Ramadan. He calls for alternatives to Western banking for the Muslims community in Europe and America, based on banks sharing lenders’ risks – the intent of the prohibition of interest in the Quran — so that they become an integral part of people’s economic concerns, not just parasites taking their “pound of flesh”.
The 8th–10th cc categories of dar al-islam (abode of peace), dar al-harb (abode of war), dar al-ahd (abode of treaty), and dar al-kufr (abode of unbelief, referring to Muhammad’s early Mecca period) — which do not occur in the Quran but only in the much later hadiths but are now integral to Islamic law — must be redefined. Formally an abode of war, the West, with its guaranteed civil rights, ironically allows more religious freedom these days than many oppressive, nominally Muslim states (pre-revolution Egypt being a prime example), where Muslims are in danger and unable to practice their beliefs freely.
At the same time, mass migration and the globalisation of economic, financial and political power means that the concept of physical borders lose their meaning. Sheikh Faysal al-Mawlawi, a founder of the ECRF, proposes the concept of dar al-dawa (abode of invitation to God) to refer to the early Mecca period and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula at that time, and, by inference, the world today. Ramadan suggests his own characterisation of the West as dar al-shahada (abode of testimony to the Islamic message). He argues that Muslims are “witnesses before mankind”. They must continue to review the fundamental principles of Islam and take responsibility for their faith, building on the maqasid (goals) movement within Islamic legal philosophy.
This movement was developed by the 12th century Islamic scholar Muhammad Al-Ghazali (d. 1111), who established the Quran’s goals as the preservation of religion, life, lineage, intellect and property. As part of the renewal of Islamic legal theory, scholars such as Tunisian Muhammad Al-Tahir Ibn Ashur (d. 1973) and Ramadan have shown a renewed interest in the maqasid in relation to maslahah (public interest). As opposed to reading verses of the Quran in isolation, this approach requires a comprehensive reading of the text as an integrated whole in order to identify the higher objectives and then interpreting particular verses on a given topic according to the maqasid’s intent.
Sardar’s Reading the Qur’an: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam (2011) put flesh on this theoretical skeleton with his careful analysis of Al-Baqara (the basis of much of Islamic legal theory) and other suras, distinguishing between the circumstantial and the general principles which the Quran reveals. For instance, the discourse on murder (2:178) reveals two of the most important principles of Islamic law. Murder is one of the worst sins, but there are boundaries (hudud) within which justice is to be sought: the extreme punishment is “just retribution” (qisas), but there is also compensation and even forgiveness.
The “law of equity” is the Quran’s primary principle, revealed here: the law must be applied equally to all — man or woman, free or not. This passage also reveals another important principle: punishment must be proportionate to the crime. Yet another principle revealed is that compassion and forgiveness are always preferable to harsh physical punishment. Human life is sacrosanct, as eloquently revealed in Al-Maidah: “If anyone kills a person unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land — it is as if he kills all humanity.” (5:32) Capital punishment is a last resort in exceptional cases.
Sardar criticises the blind application of sharia as accumulated over the centuries after the death of the Prophet, as it has led in some cases to the very opposite of Quranic principles: capital punishment for apostasy, but recall: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (2:256) Recently, some countries reinstituted stoning for adultery (nowhere mentioned in the Quran), and made hudud (extreme) punishments the norm, whereas the Quran would avoid almost all capital punishment. Life is precious.
Sharia should be a problem-solving methodology requiring reinterpreting the Quran and life of Muhammad with fresh eyes, distinguishing between legal enactments subject to change and universal moral injunctions. Sardar points out that colonial regimes actually encouraged the petrification of sharia and then limited it to personal and family matters.
The murder passage also shows how Islam inevitably deals with economics, which, whether we like it or not, are infused with moral issues. The murder of a family’s breadwinner is not only a family tragedy, but a severe economic blow. Compensation is in this situation could well be preferable to lopping off the offender’s head.
Following the discourse on murder, the next passage in Al-Baqara abruptly switches to deal with inheritance and charity. Sardar argues this abrupt change of topic is not in fact so abrupt, that the two topics are very much related, linked via economics. Just punishment leads to a discourse on just distribution — of inheritance (for the family) and charity (for society as a whole). He points out two more principles implicit here: women have a right to inheritance and by corollary property (a radical proposition in seventh century Arabia), and individual rights must be considered in a social context, adjusted to guard against need.
This social principle accounts for the different shares in inheritance which so obsess Western critics, with the men (sole breadwinners at the time) getting more than the women. But those critics may just have a point, infers Sardar. By implication, in a society where both men and women work, sharing financial burdens equally, a son and daughter should get equal shares in any inheritance.
And where there is poverty, everyone who is not living in penury has a social obligation, including in their wills, to provide for the poor. “Balance and equity apply across the whole range of human life. The insights and lessons of spiritual discipline apply to and operate in all the mundane aspects of our human nature and daily life.”
This process of ijtihad, which Sardar so deftly exercises, is exciting but also fraught with danger. The reluctance of the Islamic scholars over the ages to allow its exercise, and their preference for relying on existing legal decisions, is not just a case of being self-serving.
For example, Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966) argued in his exegesis In the Shade of the Quran that Muslims must fight “to make God’s word supreme in the world” and that for the enemy to simply desist from fighting was just not good enough. Enemies are “required to renounce their denial of God and their rejection of His message.” This directly contradicts that great Quranic principle: “There is no compulsion in religion.” (2:256)
By looking afresh at these contentious issues, in light of the Quran, such writers as Ramadan and Sardar strive to establish the overall mindset, the outlook the Quran seeks to promote. They logically look at both the text and the context of the text-within-the-text, so to speak. For instance, the famous “sword verse” — “Kill the associators wherever you find them” (9:5) — was a specific instruction, a rally-the-troops call prior to the battle of Badr in 624, against “those with whom you make an agreement, then they break their agreement every time”. (8:56)
Or the “terror verse” — “We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers” (3:149) – was addressed specifically to Muhammad before the battle of Ujud in 625, when the Muslims’ small ill-equipped army was going up against a much larger, well-equipped enemy. These verses cannot be taken as a principle for warfare, which is clearly stated in Al-Baqara: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression.” (2:195)
Islam inevitably deals with politics, too. That Islam is a religion of peace has been amply demonstrated by the MB’s patient endurance of injustice over the years, which has finally borne fruit. Their participation through the FJP in the legislative and presidential elections, gaining their mandate from the people in democratic elections, is also in accord with the revelations of the Quran about governance. “God grants rule to whomsoever He wills” (2:247), but “Put your trust in those who are worthy of such trust.” (4:58) Rulers must govern via shura (consultation), which means the people must not just passively follow their leaders, but active understanding and holding leaders to account.
At the same time, “The head of state is not a deputy of God; he cannot be, as he does not have the attributes of God. Rather, he is a representative of the people who have chosen him; and like everyone else he is responsible to God for his actions, including the exercise of authority,” argues Sardar. And “while some aspects of a country’s law may be based on, or draw from Divine injunctions, not all law is Divine… The Prophet did not declare that the Quran was his constitution, but framed the Constitution of Medina through a process of consultation, involving negotiations, contested arguments and the inclusion of both Muslims and non-Muslims.”
So Morsi’s rally-to-the-Quran cry, like the “sword verse”, must be taken in context, in this case, the breathtaking elections, which required MB supporters to stare down the nay-sayers and their powerful backers. No one disputes that Egypt’s new constitution will be agreed “through a process of consultation and the inclusion of both Muslims and non-Muslims”.
And don’t expect another prophet. In other words, it’s up to us from now on to take responsibility for resolving our moral and ethical dilemmas, both as individuals and as a society. No need to return to a seventh century lifestyle, but we can use the Quran not so much as a constitution, but as the inspiration for a present day constitution imbued with Quranic moral principles. As the Justice and Development Party showed in Turkey, it is possible to work within the rules that the imperialists have set up and still make a go of it.
These two British writers, Ramadan and Sardar, might both be thinking: True, the British didn’t really encourage too much education of the masses in either Egypt or India, and they nurtured sectarianism and other evils, but it’s time to move on. Let’s thank them for waking us Muslims up to the challenges of the modern world, and at least leaving us with an electoral system and a functioning economy.
And don’t just sit back and wait for heaven on earth. “God does not change the condition of a people unless they first change their conditions themselves.” (13:11) Each generation must draw lessons from history and move forward by adjusting to change.
Morality doesn’t end with the Quran; rather, it begins with the Quran. We must not just think in terms of adapting ourselves to an inherently unjust world order, but to transform it. We must read the Quran, insists Sardar, as a “way to think and learn about how to make peace, justice and equity triumphant”.
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ His Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games http://claritypress.com/Walberg.html You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/
On July 24, 2012, the New York Times published an article named “Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria Conflict.” The article comments on an interview with an al-Qaeda operative in Iraq and on a video posted in YouTube by al-Qaeda. In the latter, masked men speak with two flags of al-Qaeda in their background; they claim to be fighting against the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad. This is relatively credible, and actually fits claims by Bashar al-Assad that the violence in the country is being driven by non-Syrians. The article cites also senior Iraqi officials claiming that the same al-Qaeda cells are active in Iraq and Syria. Yet, in a careless whisper, the New York Times also disclosed that these cells seem to be true foreigners to Islam and the Middle East.
The error took place during the abovementioned interview. Abu Thuha, a 56-year-old al-Qaeda operative in the Hawija district near Kirkuk in Iraq, spoke to an Iraqi reporter for The New York Times and said: “Our big hope is to form a Syrian-Iraqi Islamic state for all Muslims, and then announce our war against Iran and Israel, and free Palestine.” In English it may sound logical, though extremist. Yet, in the Middle Eastern context, this text is impossible to accept. Both states–Syria and Iraq–are basically colonial states; their actual borders were drawn by Western powers. As a result they are not nation-states; this is the source for much of the inner fighting we see in the area. When combining them, there is no chance of creating a stable, homogeneous nation-state. A complex matrix defined on ethnic and religious terms is the only way to map the population; the al-Qaeda speaker quoted by the prominent American newspaper had made a clumsy mishmash of it.
The complex situation in Syria includes two main struggles. The most obvious one is between the Syrian Army and the West-backed Free Syrian Army. In parallel, there is a violent conflict between the Alawi minority-closely related to Shia Islam-and Sunni Arabs. The Alawi comprise roughly 12% of the population and hold the power; the Assad dynasty is Alawi. The Sunni are 74% of the population and are attempting to use the ongoing mayhem in order to gain power. The ethnic conflict is conducted by paramilitary organizations trying to evict each other from their respective territories. The most visible result of this conflict is the gathering of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and the incessant reports on massacres of civilians. The Syrian Army-where Alawis enjoy a privileged position-favors the Alawi population, thus the ethnic struggle is a tie despite the unequal forces involved. The Syrian Army gets support from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, while the rebels are financially supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, and get military help from Western sources smuggling weapons via Turkey. Until now, al-Qaeda had no significance. Yet, they got a very expansive exposure on this issue in one of America’s leading newspapers.
al-Qaeda is a riddle. Often it is described as a global militant Sunni Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in 1988 as an answer to the Soviet War in Afghanistan; it preaches a strict enforcement of the Muslim Sharia Law. To say the least, its beginnings make it plausible that the CIA looked at it as an ally. Then–out of the blue–this miniscule organization was blamed for the 9/11 events and gained international prominence. Its membership is global, thus gaffes from non-Middle Eastern members may be expected. However, the operative interviewed lives in Iraq; he was unlikely to make such a colossal error. Imagine an American saying in an interview to the New York Times something like “Californians are Mexican citizens; we want to conquer Mexico and unify Christianity.” It makes as much sense as the al-Qaeda operative’s statements made to the New York Times. We are seeing something different here.
Both Syria and Iraq feature sizeable Shi’a and Sunni populations. Westerners must remember that this is just a religious definition; as said before; ethnic Alawis are Shi’a in their religious interpretation. The relation between Shi’a and Sunni is similar to the one between Protestant and Catholic Christians. Each group preaches different interpretations of the same facts; yet, in their core they share the same beliefs. Both Shi’a and Sunni consider the Quran to be divine, and Muhammad to be God’s prophet. The different opinions on more daily matters may cause tensions from time to time, but they are all Muslims. Yet, the al-Qaeda operative said “our big hope is to form a Syrian-Iraqi Islamic state for all Muslims,” and then mentioned attacking Shi’a Iran, as if the Shi’a and other Muslim denominations existing in the area were to be wiped-out, or forced to convert to the Sunni branch of Islam. This is not a proper Muslim preaching, which is always tolerant of monotheistic minorities; see for example Spain’s Golden Age under Islamic Rule. A more recent example can be seen nowadays in Iran; despite Western propaganda, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism as legal religions. Islam is tolerant. The definition of a person recognizing Muhammad as God’s Prophet and the divinity of the Quran as a religious-enemy by a Muslim–as made by the al-Qaeda operative–is unconceivable. He was delivering carefully designed propaganda aimed at Western ears.
This oddity becomes more evident when one searches for hard facts on the al-Qaeda presence and activity in Syria. The New York Times published also that a Free Syrian Army brigade leader in Eastern Syria claimed that he had heard rumors about al-Qaeda fighters, but had never actually seen one. YouTube videos, New York Times interviews: these are Western media stars and not freedom fighters. Apparently, America is preparing a violent, dramatic event in Syria and is preparing the background needed to blame al-Qaeda, the CIA’s best friend. The day after, Hollywood will release the movie version of the event.
On The Provocative Claim Of Israel Against Al-Aqsha Mosque :
جماعة المسلمين (حزب الله)
JAMA`AH MUSLIMIN (HIZBULLAH)
Secretariate : Jl. Pesantren Al-Fatah No. 01, Pasirangin, Cileungsi, Bogor, 16820
E-mail : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telp./Fax : (021) 82498933, HP : 082182036019
THE STATEMENT OF JAMA’AH MUSLIMIN (HIZBULLAH) ON THE PROVOCATIVE CLAIM OF ISRAEL AGAINST AL-AQSHA MOSQUE :
In relation with Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Vainshten who has stated that Al-Aqsha Mosque and the surrounding region is an integral part of the land of Israel (Republika daily, July 23, 2012), Jama’ah Muslimin (Hizbullah) states the following:
1. Strongly condemned the provocative statement, considering that Al-Aqsha Mosque is a Muslim place of worship, the third holiest mosque after the Grand Haram Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, as well as the Muslim shrine of the most recommended place to visit, in accordance to Surah Al-Isra : 1
2. This provocative statement was a clear action of the Judaization of Al-Aqsaa Mosque and its surroundings. It was very hurting and desecrating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque as the first qibla of Muslims, where the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallaahu ‘AlahiWasallam and obviously contrary to human rights and violation of the Al-Aqsha as a world heritage protected by world body UNESCO. According to Palestinian media, Zionist Israel has been doing a lot of racistJudaization, ranging from the making of tunnels under the Al-Aqsha, illegal Zionist settlements, and the establishment of the Jewish synagogues in the area of the mosque. In accordance with surah At-Tawbah : 17-18
3. In relation with the International Conference for The Freedom Al-Quds and Palestine (Bandung, July 4 to 5, 2012), the Syuro Team has been assigned with taking emergency steps to urge Muslims to take immediate concrete steps to save Al-Aqsha Mosque, in ways among others:
- To move world Muslim Advocacy Team to take the steps necessary legal advocacy for taking to justice the crimes of the Zionist regime of Israel.
- To call on the ulamas / preachers / leaders / Islamic organizations and media to always remind Muslims of the importance of the position of Al-Aqsha Mosque in Islam, and efforts towards the Judaization of Al-Aqsha
- To call on all Muslims to move on pilgrimages to and defend Al-Aqsha Mosque
- To call on all Muslims to provide prayer support, funding and resources, especially in this holy month of Ramadhan, for the sanctity of the Masjid Al-Aqsha and its surroundings.
4. Urging the leaders of countries in the world either Europe, Asia, Africa and America to strongly denounce the Zionist Israel, and to immediately stop the provocations of that Judaization unconditionally, to compel Israel to immediately leave the land it colonialize and let the Palestinian nation decide its own fate. This is because of the independence of a nation is the most fundamental human right and most basic right to a nation. Therefore, colonization anywhere in the world, including in Palestine should be stopped. Judaization actions could trigger large-scale religious conflict in the region. Muslims around the world can move to mobilize the masses to take part in a resistance and defense of Al-Aqsha.
5. Urging all components of the Muslims in Palestine as the people closest to Al-Aqsha Mosque in to continue to close ranks and unite in the struggle for the liberation of Al-Aqsa. Furthermore, to all Muslims in the world to close ranks of the Jama’ahMuslimin in guide manners (Khilafah’AlaaMinhaajinNubuwwah) in order to realize the liberation of Al-Aqsha and the independence of Palestine. Surah Ali Imran fit: 103, and Surah Al-Anfal : 73.
Jakarta, 4 Ramadhan 1433 H. /July 23, 2012.
Syaikh Muhyiddin Hamidy
About one year ago Uri Avnery , the son of Irgun terrorist group wrote:
“What will happen if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians march one day to the Separation Wall and pull it down? What if a quarter of a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon gather on our Northern border? What if masses of people assemble in Manara Square in Ramallah and Town Hall Square in Nablus and confront the Israeli troops? Mr. Avnery asks. “Perhaps this will not happen tomorrow or the day after. But it most certainly will happen – unless we make peace while we still can” And it hapenned after 6 months. Hw witnessed a Return in Practice
URI imagined “posters condemning Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu.”
But why Uri is putting “Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu.” in the same Basket?
Though at odds, Both threatens URI’s light calorie zionist project (Two state solution).
Why Uri imagined posters condemning Bashar al-Assad? Because Syria is the last Arab fort.
“Peace with the Palestinians is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity. Peace now, peace quickly.’ Uri Avnery.
Now, URI AVNERY is stuck in Palestine, Abbas, the “plucked chicken” he saw at UN soaring into the sky has landed and Ismael Haneya is now souring into the sky, in cairo, Tunis, Turkey and Qatar.
The low calorie zionist turned into polising MB, and reconciliation with his Islamic neighbors.
“Moses was also heavy of the ears… when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years – just long enough to reach Vancouver – wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.” he wrote.
“If we want Israel to exist and flourish in a region that will for a long time be governed by democratically elected Islamist parties, we would do well to welcome them now as brothers, congratulate them on their victories and work for peace and conciliation with elected Islamists in Egypt and the other Arab states, including Palestine. We must certainly resist the temptation to push the Americans into supporting another military dictatorship in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Let’s choose the future, not the past.” he concluded.
I would assure Uri, neither your Brothers of America, nor another miltary dictatorship will gurantee the existance and flourish of the zionist entity. “Israel” is doomed
Unlike Moses, you are not heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue, you are heavy of the ears.
Clear your ears, and and listen to Helen Thomas,
It is not too late URI, cut your 64 years wandering hither and thither in the “Promised Land”, in three hours you may reach Germany your birth place.
When God instructed Moses to plead with Pharaoh to let his people go, Moses told him that he was unfit for the job because “I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).
Actually, in the Hebrew original, Moses told God that he was “heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue”. He should have told Him that he was also heavy of the ears. So when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years – just long enough to reach Vancouver – wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.
So here we are, in Canaan, surrounded by Muslims.
FOR DECADES, my friends and I have warned that if we dither in making peace, the nature of the conflict will change. I myself have written dozens of times that if our conflict is transformed from a national to a religious struggle, everything will change for the worse.
The Zionist-Arab struggle started as a clash between two great national movements, which were born more or less at the same time as offshoots of the new European nationalism.
Almost all the early Zionists were convinced atheists, inspired (and pushed out) by the European nationalist movements. They used religious symbols quite cynically – to mobilize the Jews and as a propaganda tool for the others.
The Arab resistance to the Zionist settlement was basically secular and nationalist, too. It was a part of the rising wave of nationalism throughout the Arab world. True, the leader of the Palestinian resistance was Hadj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but he was both a national and a religious leader, using religious motives to reinforce the national ones.
National leaders are supposed to be rational. They make war and they make peace. When it suits them, they compromise. They talk to each other.
Religious conflicts are quite different. When God is inserted into the matter, everything becomes more extreme. God may be compassionate and loving, but His adherents are generally not. God and compromise don’t go well together. Especially not in the holy land of Canaan.
THE RELIGIONALIZATION (if a Hebrew-speaking Israeli be allowed to coin an English word) of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started on both sides.
Years ago, the historian Karen Armstrong, a former nun, wrote a thought-provoking book (“The Battle for God”) about religious fundamentalism. She put her finger on an astonishing fact: Christian, Jewish and Islamic fundamentalist movements were very much alike.
Delving into the history of fundamentalist movements in the US, Israel, Egypt and Iran, she discovered that they were born at the same time and underwent the same stages. Since there is very little similarity between the four countries and the four societies, not to mention the three religions, this is a remarkable fact.
The inevitable conclusion is that there is something in the Zeitgeist of our time which encourages such ideas, something not anchored in the remote past, which is glorified by the fundamentalists, but in the present.
IN ISRAEL, it started on the morrow of the 1967 war, when the Army Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, went to the newly “liberated” Western Wall and blew his Shofar (religious ram’s horn). Yeshayahu Leibowitz called him “the Clown with the shofar”, but throughout the country it evoked a resounding echo.
Before the Six Days, the religious wing of Zionism was the stepchild of the movement. For many of us, religion was a tolerated superstition, looked down upon, used by politicians for reasons of expediency.
The overwhelming victory of the Israeli army in that war looked like divine intervention, and the religious youth sprang into life. It was like the fulfillment of Psalm 118 (22): “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” The pent-up energies of the religious sector, nursed for years in their separate ultra-nationalist schools, burst out.
The result was the settlers’ movement. They raced to occupy every hilltop in the occupied territories. True, many settlers went there to build their dream villas on stolen Arab land and enjoy the ultimate “quality of life”. But at the core of the enterprise are the fundamentalist fanatics, who are ready to live harsh and dangerous lives, because (as the Crusaders used to shout) “God Wills It!”.
The whole raison d’être of the settlements is to drive the Arabs out of the country and turn the whole land of Canaan into a Jewish state. In the meantime their shock troops carry out pogroms against their Arab “neighbors” and burn their mosques.
These fundamentalists now have a huge influence on our government’s policy, and their impact is growing. For example: for months now, the country has been ablaze after the Supreme Court decreed that 5 (five!) houses in Bet El settlement must be demolished, because they were built on private Arab land. In a desperate effort to prevent riots, Binyamin Netanyahu has promised to build in their stead 850 (eight hundred and fifty!) new houses in the occupied territories. Such things happen all the time.
But let there be no mistake: after the cleansing of the country of non-Jews, the next step would be to turn Israel into a “halakha state” – a country governed by religious law, with the abolition of all democratically enacted secular laws that do not conform to the word of God and His rabbis.
SUBSTITUTE THE word “shariah” for “halakha” – both mean religious law – and you have the dream of Muslim fundamentalists. Both laws, by the way, are remarkably similar. And both cover all spheres of life, individual and collective.
Since the start of the Arab Spring, the fledgling Arab democracy has brought Muslim fundamentalists to the fore. Actually, that started even before, when Hamas (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) won the democratic, internationally monitored elections in Palestine. However, the resulting Palestinian government was destroyed by the Israeli leadership and its subservient US and European subcontractors.
Last week’s apparent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian presidential elections was a landmark. After similar victories in Tunisia and the events in Libya, Yemen and Syria, it is clear that Arab citizens everywhere favor the Muslim Brotherhood and similar parties.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is an old established party which has earned much respect with its steadfastness in the face of recurrent persecution, torture, mass arrests and occasional executions. Its leaders are untainted by the prevalent corruption, and admired for their commitment to social work.
The West is haunted by medieval ideas about the horrible Saracens. The Muslim Brotherhood inspires terror. It is conceived as a fearsome, murderous, secret sect, out to destroy Israel and the West. Of course, practically no one has taken the trouble to study the history of this movement in Egypt and elsewhere. Actually, it could not be further removed from this parody.
The Brotherhood has always been a moderate party, though they almost always had a more extreme wing. Whenever possible, they tried to accommodate the successive Egyptian dictators – Abd-al-Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak – though all of these tried to eradicate them. [Nasser and American brothers (Must see)]
The Brotherhood is first and foremost an Arab and Egyptian party, deeply embedded in Egyptian history. Though they would probably deny it, I would say – judging from their history – that they are more Arab and more Egyptian than fundamentalist. They certainly have never been fanatical.
During their 84 years, they have seen many ups and downs. But mostly, their outstanding quality has been pragmatism, coupled with adherence to the principles of their religion. It is this pragmatism that also characterizes their behavior during the last year and a half, which – so its seems – caused quite a number of voters who are not particularly religious to prefer them to the secular candidate who is tainted by his connection with the corrupt and repressive former regime.
This also determines their attitude towards Israel. Palestine is constantly on their mind – but that is true of all Egyptians. Their conscience is troubled by the feeling that at Camp David, Anwar Sadat betrayed the Palestinians. Or, worse, that the devious Jew, Menachem Begin, tricked Sadat into signing a document that did not say what Sadat thought it said. It is not the Brothers that caused the Egyptians who greeted us enthusiastically, the first Israelis to visit their country, to turn against us.
Throughout the heated election campaigns – four in a year – the Brotherhood has not demanded the abrogation of the peace agreement with Israel. Their attitude seems to be as pragmatic as ever.
ALL OUR neighbors are turning, slowly but surely, Islamic.
That is not the end of the world. But it surely compels us, for the first time, to try to understand Islam and the Muslims.
For centuries, Islam and Judaism had a close and mutually beneficial relationship. The Jewish sages in Muslim Spain, the great Maimonides and many other prominent Jews were close to Islamic culture and wrote some of their works in Arabic. There is certainly nothing in the two religions that precludes cooperation between them. (Which, alas, is not true for Christianity, which could not tolerate the Jews.)
If we want Israel to exist and flourish in a region that will for a long time be governed by democratically elected Islamist parties, we would do well to welcome them now as brothers, congratulate them on their victories and work for peace and conciliation with elected Islamists in Egypt and the other Arab states, including Palestine. We must certainly resist the temptation to push the Americans into supporting another military dictatorship in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Let’s choose the future, not the past.
Unless we prefer to pack up and head for Canada, after all.
- Kudos Mr. Abbas, the “tragic hero”: The “plucked chicken” is soaring into the sky. Give him a chance
- Uri Avnery is worried: Obama on the wrong side of history, Uri is not?
- Uri Avnery is worried: Egypt will change our lives
- A letter from a 1948 settler to 1967 settlers in Gaza
“Our weapons are nothing if not patient,” said the Israeli Military Civil Coordinator for the Israeli Military Commander for Civil Administration of Military Affairs for Civilians in the West Bank AKA Judea & Samaria (IMCCIMCCAMACWBAKAJS). “Would you believe that they have been waiting since 1999 to move into this area?”
He was referring to the area where eight Palestinian villages have been ordered demolished. “The area will be used for military training exercises for as long as needed, and if the past is prologue, then converted to Jewish housing, or industrial zones where zoning and toxic waste disposal and worker safety are not obstacles to progress, and where the evicted villagers will find employment, thus benefiting everyone.”
According to a senior deputy state prosecutor, the Palestinian villagers have been violating the rights of the military to fire its weapons freely in the area. “Of course we have the right to use live fire, anyway, and occasionally we have, but our humanitarian impulse is to avoid unnecessary risk to these squatters. We would much prefer to expel them.”
“We also would prefer not to risk letting weapons fall into the hands of these civilians. We can’t have civilians becoming armed, unless they’re Jewish, of course. And the military has the unfortunate habit of leaving its weapons around where anyone can get their hands on them. In addition, we don’t want them to see our methods of killing and maiming people. This is highly confidential, and we never allow Palestinians to see such things.”
The state’s case for eviction of the Palestinian population rests on the argument that they have no permanent residence in the villages and that there are few if any permanent structures. Asked what constitutes permanent residence the IMCCIMCCAMACWBAKAJS responded, “It means they stay there all the time, of course. All except a few of the smallest children have been outside these villages at least once in their life.”
As to why they have so few permanent structures, he explained, “Because we demolished them. We can’t have them creating facts on the ground. These people are squatters. They and their families have been squatting on the land for almost 200 years. How long are we expected to be tolerant? Where would we be if we allowed people to build unauthorized outposts? Those outposts might become legal settlements, and then we would have to find other reasons to drive them out. Better for all of us to take care of the matter as expeditiously as possible, and preferably while people are distracted by events in Syria and the Olympics in London.”
This film is about Ernst Zundel, in my view, the greatest dissident of our time.
While Noam Chomsky was in MIT complaining that he wasn’t getting enough op-ed pieces in the New York Times, Ernst Zundel was defending the indefensible in a Toronto courthouse and clearing the rubble in his firebombed house. While Aung San Suu Kyi was giving press conferences to a breathlessly waiting world, Ernst Zundel was serving five years in a German prison. Truth is, it’s one thing to be a feted and admired Nelson Mandela, it’s quite another to be an isolated and despised Ernst Zundel.
But why his struggle is so important? Leaving aside the shining example of his courage, there is also the question of his message. The Holocaust not only defames the German people, it also defames pretty well everyone. I’m going to quote myself:
“The German and Austrian peoples who, we are told, conceived and perpetrated the slaughter; the Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Rumanian, Hungarian, peoples etc., etc who supposedly hosted, assisted in and cheered on the slaughter ; the Americans, the British, the French, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Italians (but not the Danes and the Bulgarians) etc. who apparently didn’t do enough to stop the slaughter; the Swiss who earned out of the slaughter and the entire Christian world who, it seems, created the faith-traditions and ideologies in which the slaughter could take place – and now the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim peoples who seemingly want to perpetrate a new slaughter – in fact, the Holocaust oppresses the entire non-Jewish world and indeed much of the Jewish world as well.”
And not only that, it legitimizes the assaults on Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Wall Street, Harry’s Place - you name it. So there you go.
I’d read about Ernst and I’d written about him but it was only two years ago that I met him. He was soft-spoken, kind and gentle but every so often you could see the flash of steel. He’d just been released from prison and was engaged in rebuilding his ancestral home. It’s a peasant’s house in the Black Forest, in the heart of Germany – been there for two-hundred and fifty years - and it had housed his woodcutter father, his large family and the young Ernst. Never have I seen an edifice so rooted in the land. Like Ernst himself, it seemed to grow out of the soil.
Anyway, here’s the first episode of the film. It was made by Ernst’s wife, soul-mate and fellow struggler, Ingrid. Watch it and then watch the other episodes.
Assef Shawkat Deactivated the First Bomb before the Second Exploded, Finger Pointed at Mossad and Intelligence Apparatus
What A Loss” is the most concise and suitable expression to say in the aftermath of the martyrdom of the “crisis cell” Generals in Syria. The supporters of the Resistance’s weapon were mourned by its Secretary General, asserting that they also were sharing struggles with the Resistance against the Zionist enemy over the past decades. He also reminded some of the absentminded that Syria was the only Arab state that enfolded the resistance movement and supported it.
Among the martyred Generals, there was a very common name that was referred to in the journals during the few past years as one of the mainstays of the Syrian Regime. Assef Shawkat, President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law, was in that period outside the spot of light. Close companions describe him as the man of the state and of attitudes, and the less he speaks the more he listens.
General Shawkat had spent a long time coordinating the secret relationships of the regime. He occupied several posts such as the Head of the Department of Military Intelligence which directly deals with the issues of armed troops. He supported President Assad’s instructions in supporting the resistance as if he was one of its leaders. He supervised transferring specific weapons and heavy equipments in July war 2006, and became one of its heroes.
Some close companions of the martyred Leader Imad Moughniyeh assert that there was a special relationship between Hajj Moughniyeh and General Shawkat. They comment on its martyrdom as it is a “big loss”.
How did the Assassination take place?
The head of the Political Department in the International Organization for Arab Expatriates Mohammad Dhirar Jammo asserted that the bursting wasn’t remote controlled. As he made reservations to mention all what he had known, he unveils that General Assef Shawkat was able to discover and deactivate one of the two bombs found at the office before the second had exploded.
As he conversed with the Al-Manar website, Jammo negated what media outlets had mentioned about the so-called “Free Syrian Army” adoption of the operation. He explained that the crime exceeds the abilities of the unorganized groups of bandits. Such operation requires logistic information and satellite pictures showing the movement of the security leaders. He noted that the accusations are directed against the Israeli Mossad and other Western Intelligence offices.
As for the information published in the French daily “Le Figaro” about special Qatari forces to execute security operations on the Syrian land, the Syrian politician didn’t deny that. Not to mention that the Qataris might not have the enough intelligence cunning, but they might be involved in funding and executing the operations directed and planned by the Mossad and CIA according to Jammo.
The Syrian Ambush: A Pilot Disserts and the Turkish Combat Plane was Shot Down
Jammo, talking about the political messages, stated to the Al-Manar website that the Turkish combat plane was shot down last month after Damascus had prepared an ambush in a critical intelligence operation executed by the Syrian aerial intelligence. Furthermore, he added that Syria was aware of the Mossad agents cells in Damascus, Lattakia, and Aleppo, among which there were Turkish and Jordan members, and they were under surveillance.
In another context, Jammo talked about the psychological war launched against Syria asserting that the western and Arab satellite channels that are organizing terrorism and destruction campaigns will display during the following ten days previously-recorded and prepared videos showing military operations conducted by the “Free Army” as well as his gangs controlling the area surrounding the Presidential Palace.
Mohammad Dhirar Jammo restated what was said by Henry Kissinger about the American failure in transferring sectarianism to the Syrian army and dominating President Bashar Assad. He explained that the Americans admit they are defeated, but they won’t accept that since they have invariable standards before any sort of settlement, which the US is disable to do currently especially that it has nothing to grant in a period of time it is getting prepared to the grand affairs such as the presidential elections and the economic crisis.
Jammo terminated his conversation saying that war is not likely to take place, yet it is still possible. He proved his suggestion noting that the world today witnesses an international equilibrium clearly seen in the Security Council where, for the first time in its history, the veto was used successively thrice.
Translated by Zeinab Abdallah
This is a rare and important debate between infamous ultra-nationalist Rabbi Meir Kahane and the caricature Harvard Prof’ Alan Dershowitz.
In the debate, that took place in 1985, Rabbi Kahane explores a thoroughly coherent and consistent notion of Jewishness derived from self love, Jewish orthodoxy and the Torah. He grasps the true (and rather obvious) supremacist meaning of the Jewish state having to be primarily Jewish. Kahane’s views were not popular in Israel at the time, (he insisted that Arabs and Palestinians had no future in Israel so, he wanted them gone) but today, Kahane’s views are widely accepted in Israel and not at all different from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann’s political agenda.
But what is really interesting is to watch the role of Alan Dershowitz. Even in 1985, our infamous spin-master could not produce one genuine or truthful statement
It is clear that Dershowitz who, over the years, has acquired for himself a name of a ‘remarkable liar’, then as now, has a serious problem with truth-tellers. Dershowitz completely fails to encounter Kahane’s racist, coherent yet devastating argument. Instead, he reverts to personal attacks, name calling and the kind of tactics one might expect from a market peddler but not from a Harvard professor. It seems as if it took Dershowitz a few years to grasps that he himself is an ethnic-cleansing enthusiast who holds views that are not all that different from Rabbi Kahane’s.
I wonder how long it will take before the chameleon Harvard professor adopts my views.
Four Corners looks at claims that the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of “conspiracy to commit espionage” being made against Assange – which in turn would be used to facilitate his extradition from Sweden to the United States. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange’s supporters across the globe – including his Australian lawyer – and the FBI’s attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.
Four Corners has gone back to Sweden, where the drama began, to pin down what actually happened there, and take a closer look at the inconsistencies in the various versions of events.
A video about a french cat going to the vet. I often wonder what cats would say if they could speak.
Israel’s refusal to stop building illegal settlements in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem is a poignant reminder the Palestinians could share a fate similar to the indigenous American Indian people of the 1800’s.
According to the author, James W. Loewen, the U.S government’s model of wiping out nearly 54 million  indigenous people, with the remaining numbers relocated to desolate reservations, inspired Adolf Hitler to do the same against the Jews.
“Hitler admired the American concentration camps set up for Indians in the West and often lauded them to his inner circle for the effectiveness of American aptitude for promoting starvation and unequal combat, which inspired him for his own extermination of Jews and Gypsies. [Romani people],” Loewen wrote.
Noam Chomsky, the political author and professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT), believes today’s role reversal of the Palestinians becoming the indigenous American Indian people is merited, but up to a point.
“It’s bad enough, but not that bad. The leading figures of the US conquests were quite explicit about taking over everything, and ‘exterminating’-their word-anyone who stood in the way. What we’d call ‘genocide’ if anyone else were to try it,” Chomsky said.
Israel occupies 77.5% of expropriated land, it terms, “State land”. This demographic change took more than 50 years of planning by the World Zionist organisation, a Jewish nationalist movement, exploiting Judaism, to advance colonisation in Palestine for a Jewish nation.
Integral to Israel’s land drive is an 8 metre concrete wall enclosure that surrounds illegal settlements. The idea was suggested in 1923, by the Polish Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the Jewish terrorist group, Irgun, in the Jewish Herald, stating: “This colonization can develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.”
Israel’s colonisation depends on exploiting natural resources. The Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea area have 37 illegal settlements of 9,500 settlers and up to 56,000 Palestinians, yet Israel pumps most of the water to its settlements, forcing the Arabs to ration water supplies. When supplies end, families risk contamination from polluted streams or make up the 67% forced to buy water in tanks from the Mekorot Company, which is expensive. 
To Palestinian farmer’s, water shortages limit the variety of crops grown, affecting an already crumbling economy, which Israel controls, to almost $1.83bn in lost annual revenue,  with complete losses in the West Bank and Gaza totalling around £4.4bn. 
Nazism rise to power in Germany was an important juncture for Zionism. Although, the persecution of Jews didn’t interest the Zionists, Hitler’s demise in 1945 provided the opportunity to take advantage of Jewish suffering, by sabotaging efforts to relocate Jews to other parts of Europe, instead increased Jewish migration into Palestine.
By 1946 the Jewish population rose to 602,586, which was nearly four times the 1931 British Mandate population figure of 174,610, with 65% (approximately 1,339,763) being Arab as opposed to 759,717 (73.5%) in 1931.
“There are multiple motives behind the settlement enterprise, such as cheap housing, but nationalist and religious ideologies (e.g. the belief the West Bank, or ‘Judea and Samaria,’ is part of the biblical ‘Eretz Israel’ play a very significant role,” said Human Rights Watch spokesman, Bill Van Esveld.
The Judaic significance refers to, ‘chosen people’ and ‘promised land’, prominent among settler motives, and forms the basis of Israeli claims over Palestinian land. Most Rabbis peddle Zionist interpretation in the Jewish Holy book, the Tanakh, focusing on (Genesis 15:18) that, ‘God promised Abraham’s descendants the land between the River of Egypt and the Forat (Euphrates)’, and in (Exodus 23:31), where ‘the border was set from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines; the inhabitants of the land would be delivered into your hand; and the people shall be driven out’.
According to traditional Jewish scholars it is not for the Jewish people to fulfil this promise but a pact between God and the prophet Elijah, yet to be delivered. Once delivered, it would signal the later arrival of the Messiah, who would redeem the Jews and all of mankind. Until then, God commands the Jews to remain in exile until it is time to be redeemed. The term, ‘exile’, refers to Jews being loyal subjects to their nation of residence, and not establishing rule over the native population, including the land of Palestine. 
To gain unconditional public support, exploiting Judaism wasn’t enough. Zionism needed land. In 1901, a proposal was accepted by Zvi Hermann Schapira, a rabbi and professor of mathematics, to establish an institute, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), to aggressively purchase land for Jewish settlement, and form a ‘Jewish territory’ in the process.
By the 1930’s the JNF using its leading influence, persuaded other land agencies to adopt its practices of retaining the legal title of the land, with leases granted to Jewish settlers.
The first Zionist land purchase was in the Jezreel Valley, bought from the Sursuk family in 1925. The Judaic importance and its nearly 100,000 acres, of which at least 93,000 acres were fertile and arable, made it one of the most fertile lands in Palestine. The Sursuk family bought the land from the Turkish government for 18,000 Palestinian pounds (roughly $50,000). The Zionist movement offered Sursuk an obscene amount of 726,000 Palestinian pounds (approximately $2 million), which was accepted by the Sursuk family.  This kind of exploitive dealings was common practice.
Most land purchases were followed by Arab expulsion. A secret memorandum in 1930, written by Dr. A. Rupin, the Jewish Agency agriculture and settlement expert, to his Agency, confirms expulsion is built into Zionism, when he said, “Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land thus far, both owners of the land and tenants.”
It is believed 1270 Palestinian Arab families were removed from 13 villages. To avoid a public scandal, each family was compensated 24 Palestinian pounds (just above $50), seen as an exception to the rule, as normally Arab families received nothing, for example the land purchase of Hefer Valley, saw about 2000 Arab peasants dispossessed. 
The Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, dismisses the argument of the Palestinians leaving on their own accord. In his research paper, later included in his book, ‘The ethnic cleansing of Palestine’, he reveals the official version of the 1948 Arab expulsion.
“On 10 March 1948, a group of 11 veteran Zionist leaders and Jewish officers put the finishing touches to a large scale military operation for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Military orders that evening, were despatched to units, preparing Palestinian expulsion from vast areas of the country. The detailed methods included: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centers; setting fires to homes, properties, and goods; expelling residents; demolishing homes; and finally planting mines in the rubble to prevent the expelled Arabs from returning. Each unit was issued its own list of villages and neighbourhoods to target in keeping with the master plan, Code-named Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew)”.
Taking six months to complete its mission, more than half of Palestine’s population, over 750,000 people, had been uprooted, 531 villages destroyed, and 11 urban neighbourhoods had been emptied of their inhabitants.
The squeezing of Arab lands, especially during 1948-1959, further expanded Israeli territory. Some of the villages included, the village of Umm Al-Fahm, with a population of 7000 and a land of 140,000 dunam*, by 1959 its population increased to 11,000 but the land was reduced to an astonishing 1500 dunam. The village of Tayyiba inhabited 3,500 people, with 45,000 dunam of land, by 1959 the population climbed to 7,000 but were left with only 13,000 dunam of land. The village of Tira with a population of 3100 people, owned 28,000 dunam, by 1959 the population rose to 5100 but only occupied 7,500 dunam of land. 
Deception was also used to expel Arab villagers, as witnessed in the Arab-Christian village of Ikrit in December 1948. The villagers were instructed by the Israeli army to leave their village temporarily, for two weeks, alleging land mines where found in the area and needed to be cleared for their safety. The residents moved to the nearby village of Rama, which became the Rama Refugee Camp, until it was safe to return.
Two weeks has now become 64 years. Instead of being resigned to their fate, in 1952 the villagers filed a lawsuit action, as they were instructed to leave for a limited time, so their property couldn’t be considered ‘absentee property’. The judges deceived the plaintiffs ruling in favour of the plaintiffs’ right of return to their land, but on condition of attaining a permit issued by the military governor. In reality, the Governor would never issue a permit.  The case still goes on. The court’s decision underlines how complicit the legal system is with Zionism’s policies.
Resistance also came from individuals, such as the Syrian, Shaykh Muhammad Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. He was an Imam of a local mosque in Haifa and an educator by night, teaching literacy to labourers. It was his student’s experiences, largely ex-farmers, recalling how they had to leave their lands by the JNF, which had a profound impact on Al-Qassam, who decided armed Jihad, (resistance) was necessary to end Arab dispossession, and in 1930, he formed a small militant group.
By 1935, the group raided Jewish settlements and sabotaged British rail lines, but Al-Qassam wanted a national revolution and wrote to the Arab leadership in Jerusalem, to support an armed struggle, but was rejected, as the leadership felt Arab rights could still be achieved through negotiations.
When news reached the British of al-Qassam’s vision, military units were deployed around a cave near Ya’bad in Jenin, where he was hiding, with twelve of his followers. Soon afterwards, the British soldiers pounded the area with heavy artillery. Al-Qassam, rather than surrender, took a last stand and was killed.
Al-Qassam’s efforts were not in vain, who instantly became a symbol of resistance, epitomising the Palestinian land struggle. His martyrdom triggered the great Arab Revolt (1936-1939). His legacy lives on with the military wing of Hamas named after him, Ezzedeen al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.
By the time Britain’s rule expired on 14 May 1948, the newly Zionist-aligned U.S government emerged as the leading global political power, and using its influence, forced the voting U.N nations to accept the two-state resolution, which the Palestinians rejected, giving 56% of the land to the Jews and 42% to the Arabs, the remaining land went to Christian and other small minority groups.
The pressure for U.N Nations to vote was acknowledged by James Forrestal, the U.S Minister of Defense at the time, in his memoirs, stating, “The methods used to pressure and to constrain the other nations within the U.N. were close to scandalous.” 
Since then, political elites have conspired to view the Palestinians as the ‘unseen’ people, which is emphasised with the ‘peace’ broker, the U.S government, forging strong economic and political ties with Israel, while ensuring there are no Palestinian agreements in dismantling illegal settlements and reclaiming civil rights equal to the Israeli citizens.
Palestine’s full admission to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), in October 2011 is a historic small step for the Palestinians to address its rights with some authority, and with at least 112 countries endorsing Palestinian statehood, the pressure to be given full U.N membership, is growing and cannot be ignored for much longer.
*One dunam is approximately 1,000 square metres
1 Denevan, William. “The Native Population of the Americas in 1492”. 2nd edition Publication. 1992.
2 Loewen, James W., “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong”. Touchstone, Simon & Schuster. 1995.
3 Peace Now Settlement Watch Team, Report-“Construction of Settlements upon Private Land-Official Data”, March 2007.
4 Jabotinsky, Vladimir. The Jewish Herald (South Africa). “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”. November 26, 1937.
5 Ma’an Development Center, Parallel Realities: Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Communities in the Jordan Valley, 2012.
6 7 The economic cost of the Israeli occupation for the occupied Palestinian territory, A bulletin published by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy in cooperation with the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), September 2011.
8 Palestine 1946: District and District Centers during the Mandate period. Source: Palestine Remembered
9 Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I. British Mandate of Palestine.
10 Leizer Fishberg, Jews Against Zionism group.
11 Rabbi Cohen, Ahron. “Declaration on ‘the Palestine issue’ by Neturei Karta of the UK”. 25 June, 2003. (Accessed 26 June 2012).
12 The composition of the group that met is the product of a mosaic reconstruction of several documents, as demonstrated in my book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006). The document summarizing the meeting is found in the Israel Defense Force Archives [IDFA], GHQ/Operations branch, 10 March 1948, File no. 922/75/595, and in the Haganah Archives [HA], File no. 73/94. The description of the meeting is repeated by Israel Galili in the Mapai center meeting, 4 April 1948, found in the HA, File no. 80/50/18. Chapter 4 of my book also documents the messages that went out on 10 March as well as the eleven meetings prior to ﬁnalizing of the plan, of which full minutes were recorded only for the January meeting.
13 Lehn and Davis 1988: 24, 86-7.
14, 19 Fouzi el-Asmar, “Zionist land-aggression in Israel/Palestine”, 4th Edition. English translation by Uri Davis, 4th Edition.
15 Arakhim, (Hebrew Newspaper), “The Arab Population in Israel”, No. 3, 1971, p.10
16 The historian Meir Pail claims, in From Haganah to the IDF [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Zemora Bitan Modan, n.d.), p.307, the orders were sent a week later. For the dispatch of the orders, see also Gershon Rivlin and Elhanan Oren, The War of Independence: Ben-Gurion’s Diary, vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 1982), p.147. The orders dispatched to the Haganah brigades to move to State D—Mazav Dalet—and from the brigades to the battalions can be found in HA, File no.73/94, 16 April 1948.
17 On Plan Dalet, which was approved in its broad lines several weeks before that meeting, see Uri Ben-Eliezer, The Emergence of Israeli Militarism, 1936–1956 (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1995), p. 253: “Plan Dalet aimed at cleansing of villages, expulsion of Arabs from mixed towns.”
18 Ilan Pappe, white paper, p.7, “The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.
20 Yediot Aharonot, Hebrew newspaper. 30 June 1972.
21 Pappe, 2006, p. 35 Pappe speech given by the Pakistani representative to the U.N Sir Zafrullah Kahn on 28 November 1947
22 “Forrestal’s Memoirs”, p.363, N.Y., The Viking Press. 1951.
Most people recognize that the apartheid wall Israel has been building for the past ten years will one day be removed. But few have given serious consideration to how best to recycle hundreds of miles of this “separation barrier.”
Now RighteousJews.org, Gilad Atzmon, and several human rights organizations are offering a significant prize for the best proposal of how to recycle the concrete portion of this wall.
The initial prize is $1,000, but as paid sponsors are added the prize is expected to increase to $25,000.
Submissions will be judged by the Board of Advisers of Deir Yassin Remembered, a “balanced” group of human rights advocates, Palestinians, Jews, and others.
How to Apply:
Written submissions can be sent to Deir Yassin Remembered, c/o Daniel McGowan, 9 One Mile Point, Geneva, New York 14456 (USA) along with a $25 submission fee, which will be waived if the submitter comes from the West Bank or Gaza.
All submissions must be received by January 31, 2013. The winner will be announced the following Deir Yassin Day, April 9, 2013.
Righteous Jews.org If Americans Knew
Gilad Atzmon Americans for Just Peace in the Middle East
Deir Yassin Remembered Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Other sponsors donating at least $250 are most welcome, even Zionist and settler advocates who share the belief that the wall will be recycled.
The RAW Prize is unique within Palestinian/Israeli activism.
First, it changes the narrative from separation to reunification, from racism to universal human rights, from two states to one with equal civil rights for all.
Second, it focuses attention on the enormity and the cost of this instrument of separating the “chosen” from the “children of a lesser God.”
Third, it is forward-looking, not static. It neither condemns nor justifies the wall, but simply looks at what will be come of it in the future.
Fourth, it is “green.” It is not about destruction, but about recycling – recycling for the benefits of humanity. Could houses be made from these huge T-shaped blocks of reinforced concrete? Could breakwaters and coastal erosion projects use such easily dismantled objects?
Fifth, both Jews and non-Jews recognize that the wall will go. Now both can work to recycle it. It promotes activism now, even by those who are not into boycotts and vigils and writing blogs.
Sixth, media attention will be generated as proposals are revealed and as the prize is increased with the addition of new sponsors.
This is a transcript of a lecture on Christian Zionism delivered by Norton Mezvinsky at the 2012 Summer Institute for Scholars, held by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Herndon, Virginia on June 12, 2012.
This paper is also available on the International Council for Middle East Studies (ICMES) website
I am pleased to be here with you at this impressive IIIT Summer Institute for Scholars. Hopefully, I shall make a small, positive contribution to your deliberations. Similar to the topic of the previous presentation, my topic is certainly faith-based. My topic, however, is not oriented toward peace making. Evangelical Christian Zionism and evangelical Christian Zionists constitute a major threat to our society and too much of the world beyond. There are 2 major points to make in this regard: 1) Christian Zionism’s emphasis upon the state of Israel and Jews and 2) Christian Zionism’s antagonism directed against not just Arabs but also Islam and Muslims. These two points are connected to one another and overlap but also need to be analyzed separately. I shall focus upon each point in order.
As is often necessary, we need to begin with a definition of terms. Christian Zionism, broadly defined, is not limited to evangelicals. Ministers, lay leaders and congregations of many so-called mainline churches deserve to be called Christian Zionist; they believe and advocate that the political Zionism of the State of Israel’s character is legitimate, is moral, is authorized and authenticated by holy scripture and should be supported and maintained. These mainline Christian Zionists differ from one another in their perceptions of Islam and Muslims. The focus of my talk is, however, not upon these mainline Christian Zionists but rather upon evangelical Christian Zionists.
Not all evangelicals in the United States are Christian Zionists. Some evangelicals, e.g. the noted leader and speaker Tony Compolo, publicly oppose Christian Zionist theology. The large majority of evangelical Christian leaders and their followers in the United States, nevertheless, are Christian Zionists. The actual number of evangelical Christian Zionists in the United States in 2012 is difficult to assess accurately. Before he died, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, one the best known American evangelical Christian Zionist leakers, bragged and exaggerated that the number of evangelical Christian Zionists in the United States numbered 100 million; that number is an exaggeration. The number in 2012, determined from a consideration of many sources and studies, is instead in the 50 million range. Clearly, the number is sufficiently large to indicate its significance.
Evangelical Christian Zionism is one version of Christian fundamentalism. Christian Zionists believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament texts are literally the word of God. Briefly stated, evangelical Christian Zionism is a movement within Protestant fundamentalism that views the modern state of Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and thus deserves financial, political and religious support. Christian Zionists work closely with the Israeli government as well as with religious and secular Jewish Zionist organizations.
Christian Zionism grew out of a particular theological system called premillennial dispensationalism. Its doctrines became clear during the early 19th century in England when there was an outpouring of millennial doctrines following the year 1800. The preaching and writings of the Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) and Scotsman Edward Irving emphasized the literal and future fulfillment of such teachings as the rapture, the rise of the antichrist, the battle of Armageddon, and the central role of a revived nation state Israel. Darby’s teachings became a central feature for many great preachers of the 1880-1900 period, including the evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Billy Sunday; major Presbyterian preachers, such as Reverend James Brooks; Philadelphia radio preacher, Harold B. Ironsides; and Cyrus I. Schofield. When Schofield applied Darby’s eschatology to the Bible, the result was a superimposed outline of premillennial dispensationalist notations on the biblical text, known as the Schofield Bible. Gradually the Schofield Bible became the only version used by most evangelical and fundamentalist Christians for the next century
Premillennialism is a type of Christian theology that may be as old as Christianity itself. It has its roots in Jewish apocalyptic thought and generally believes that Jesus will return to earth before he establishes a literal millennial kingdom under his sovereignty. Darby added the distinctive elements of the “rapture” of true, burn-again Christians prior to the return of Jesus, and he interpreted all major prophetic texts with a future predictive understanding. Darby also marked world history according to certain periods, termed “dispensations,” that served to guide believers as to how they should conduct themselves. In this regard, the fulfillment of prophetic signs begins the central tasks of Christian evangelical interpretation.
Christian Zionism in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries has supported the maximalist claims of Jewish political Zionism, including Israel’s sovereignty over the entirety of historic Palestine including Jerusalem. The modern State of Israel is viewed as a fulfillment of the prophetic scriptures and is one of the necessary stages prior to the second coming of Jesus. Christian Zionism asserts without question that Jews need to and shall be in control of the holy land before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Christian Zionists believe and state unequivocally that Armageddon the “mother of all holocausts,” will occur before the Second Coming. During Armageddon only the real believers in the divine word, i.e. the true followers of Jesus including only 144,000 Jews, who had converted, will be raptured in the air. Other people will perish for having followed the anti-Christ. According to John Hagee, probably the major Christian Zionist minister, however, the Jews will be spared as a separate category. God, according to Hagee, will allow the Jews, as a special people, to survive Armageddon. The Jews, Hagee asserts, will accept Jesus as the Christ and their true savior only after he returns and appears before them.
Christian Zionists believe that they need to give full support and backing to the current Zionist Jewish state; they believe that they need to do whatever they can to support Israeli Jews against the people and governments of Arab nation-states and Palestinians. Evangelical Christian Zionists believe that the Holy Land must be controlled by Jews, who must be at least the majority of the population before the second coming of Jesus. Some Christian Zionists are more extreme and believe, as one of them told me three years ago: “The Jews must own all the land promised by God before Christ can return. The Arabs have to leave, because this land belongs only to the Jews.”
Within the past thirty-five years Christian Zionist leaders with a large number of followers behind them have developed one of the most powerful and influential lobbies in the United States. This lobby has exerted, and still does exert, at least as much political influence in Washington and throughout the United States as does the much emphasized Israel lobby, which is comprised of Jews. The Christian Zionist lobby, far more than the Israel lobby, is antagonistic to Muslims and Islam as being enemies of Israel, the Jews and Christians. After discussing more fully the Christian Zionist position regarding Israel and the Jews, I shall discuss the Christian Zionist views of Islam and Muslims.
At the time of the Camp David Accords 1978-1979 the Israeli government began to work closely with evangelical Christian Zionists in the United States. In 1978, Israeli Prime Minister Begin invited the Reverend Jerry Falwell to visit Israel, and the following year, 1979, Begin’s government gave Falwell a gift – a Lear Jet. Begin began working with Falwell at the precise time that evangelical Christian Zionists in the United States were beginning serious political work. In that same year – 1979 – Falwell formed the Moral Majority, an organization that to a significant extend changed the political landscape in the United States. Over twenty years ago, Ed McKeever, considered by many people to be the godfather of the Religious Right in the United States, stated in a CBS 60 Minute interview that Americans generally and the United States government specifically needed to understand that “every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and the Mediterranean belongs to the Jews.”
There is no secret about the political influence of the Christian Zionist lobby in the United States. Typically, Akiva Eldar, one of Israel’s most outstanding political commentators, claimed on June 6, 2003 on Bill Moyer’s Now television program: “the most important thing is that they (Christian Zionists) have so much influence in Washington, that they are so influential in the White House and in Congress.” Professor Stephen Zunes, a distinguished American historian, noted in his article, published in Foreign Policy in Focus, June, 2004; “It appears that Christian Zionists are at this point more significant in the formulation of U.S. policy toward Israel than are the Jewish Zionists.” Zunes offered three examples to document his position:
1) After the Bush administration’s initial condemnation of the attempted assassination of the militant Palestinian Islamist, Abdul Aziz Rantisi, in June 2003, Christian Zionists mobilized and convinced constituents to send thousands of emails to the White House protesting the criticism. A key element in these emails was the threat that if such pressure continued to be placed upon Israel, the Christian Right would stay home on Election Day. Within 24 hours, there was a notable change in tone by the president. Indeed, when Rantisi fell victim to a successful Israeli assassination in April 2004 the administration-as it did with the assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the previous month-largely defended the Israeli action.
2) When the Bush administration insisted that Israel stop its April, 2002 military offensive in the West Bank, the White House received over 100,000 emails from Christian Zionists in protest of its criticism. Almost immediately, President Bush came to Israel’s defense. Over the objection of the State Department, the Republican-led congress adopted resolutions supporting Israel’s actions and blaming the violence exclusively on the Palestinians.
3) When President Bush announced his support for the road Map for Middle East peace, the White House received more than 50,000 postcards over the next two weeks from Christian Zionists opposing any plan that called for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The administration quickly back-pedaled, and the once-highly touted Road map essentially died.
The Christian Zionist influence in United States Middle East policy, especially in regard to Israel and the Palestinians, from the time of the George W. Bush administration to the present can be clearly documented. Christian Zionist’s financial support for Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank has been and continues to be substantial. The exact total amount may not yet be known, but the total is clearly in the multi-million dollar range.
It is not surprising that public support in the United States for Christian Zionism has grown steadily for the past four decades. This is well illustrated by the enormous sales of popular novels, espousing Christian Zionism. The Late Great Planet Earth, written by Hal Lindsey and Carole C. Carlson, published in 1970, was the first of these best-selling novels. Over 26 million of this one novel had been sold by 1990; the number has almost doubled since then. The Late Great Planet Earth prophesized that Armageddon, the rapture and the establishment of the kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth would soon occur. (Soon was first designated to be by 1980, but the timing was extended by Hal Lindsey.) This novel emphasized the importance of the “rebirth” of Israel in 1948 which constituted a signal from God of the coming of these events. Lindsey reiterated and expanded his themes in some later best-selling novels.
The famous Left Behind Series of sixteen novels, written by Tim LeHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, published between 1995 and 2007 also sold tens of millions of copies in English; these novels were translated, published and then sold in many other languages. Video and movie spin-offs of these novels have been produced and are still watched. All the evangelical Christian Zionist themes are popularized in fictional stories in these novels.
In addition to support for Israel most Christian Zionist leaders have been and are presently outspoken publicly and privately about their antagonism to Islam and Muslims. The spokespeople saw George W. Bush’s declared “War on Terror,” to be primarily a war not only against so-called Islamic fundamentalism and Muslim extremists but rather a war against Islam and an evil religion and against its Muslim adherents.
Beginning in the middle of the 1970s, evangelical Christian Zionists began to focus attention on Islam and its expanding role in world affairs. Motivated by the belief that OPEC was largely responsible for an oil crisis in 1973, John F. Walvoord of the Dallas seminary reflected the concern about Islam in his book, Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis, which sold over 750,000 copies. Other Christian Zionist writers soon began to focus more and more upon Islam. The 1979 revolution in Iran, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, motivated additional concern. Some writers predicted that Islamic fundamentalist Iran would join with the Soviet Union in a final war against Israel. That Shi’ite Muslims were then opponents of the Soviets because of the Soviet Union’s invitation of Afghanistan mattered little in this kind of reasoning. What Christian Zionists regarded as the Ayatollah’s ruthlessness simply convinced them of what would develop. In 1989 Jim McKeevey typically predicted that Islam was more dangerous than most people then believed. He wrote: “The Muslims have declared war on the West, the United States and especially the Christians.”
That same year, 1989, Pat Robertson, who started the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and was voted the Christian broadcaster of the year, stated that Israel and America were automatically on God’s side against “evil Islam.” Robertson claimed that here he was speaking for 1600 Christian radio and television broadcasters with a combined audience of 141 million or almost ½ of the total population of the United States.
Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, beginning in August, 1990, almost immediately motivated even more of the Zionist leadership an increased sales of earlier published Christian Zionist books. These books contained biblical prophecy of what would befall this world in the end time. Such biblical prophecy not only connected Iraq to pending doom but also provided more background to and a broader basis for antagonism to Islam and Muslims. Christian Zionist preachers and teachers, who emphasized such biblical prophecy, suddenly appeared regularly as scheduled interview guests on radio and television in 1990 and 1991 on CNN, CBS and CBN. The New York Times reported in 1991 that the general concern about such biblical prophecy was at “fever pitch.” The 1990 Gulf War convinced Christian Zionist preachers and teachers that Iraq was the Book of Revelation’s Babylon.
Most Christian Zionist preachers and teachers came to regard political Babylon (Iraq) as the anti-Christ’s revived Roman Empire and to regard ecclesiastical Babylon as the apostate religion. Many believed that Saddam Hussein planned to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon, that the Book of Revelations’ references to Babylon should be interpreted literally and that indeed Babylon should be reconstructed. The leading advocate for the rebuilding of Babylon was Charles Dyer of the Dallas Seminary; he argued that Saddam should rebuild Babylon so that the returning Christ could destroy it.
Many Christian Zionist spokespeople did not regard Saddam Hussein as the anti-Christ or the Gulf War as Armageddon. They were nevertheless convinced that this was a step towards the end-time, which they believed was fast approaching. Charles Taylor concluded, as did most other Christian Zionist spokespeople: “That which is transpiring is a shifting of the nations to get them in the proper position” for events leading to the return of Christ.
The outbreak of the second Golf War, which began when the United States invaded Iraq in march of 2003, produced mixed reactions from evangelical Christian Zionist preachers, teachers and writers. Some were more restrained than they and their colleagues had been in 1990 about prophetic connections to the end-time. Others reacted in the same manner and sometimes even more strongly than they and their colleagues had reacted earlier.
In his book, Beyond Iraq: The Next Move (2003) Michael Evans insisted that Iraq, Islam and Muslims are modern-day representatives of the forces of Satan and, as ordered by God, must be crushed. They are allegedly connected to ancient Babylon, a once great city that turned evil and was hence destroyed. The 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States was for Evans a prelude to the coming Armageddon, the mother of all holocausts.
In his book, Evans focused even more in-depth on Arabs and Muslims. He argued that they must be humiliated and subjugated before finally being crushed and killed. He quoted the Bible and said God blessed Isaac and his descendants, the Jews, but had a different plan for the Arabs, descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s other son. Evans quoted the Bible’s description of Ishmael as a “wild man” whose hand will be raised against all persons. Evans called Mohammed a “proto-terrorist”, who banished and killed Jews for not believing in him and for spawning Muslim terrorists with Islam. Terrorism, claimed Evans in his book, is a logical consequence of Islam. He argued that the Qaddaffis, Khomeinis, bin Ladens and Husseins of the modern day are disciples of Muhammad and Islam. From Evans’ perspective, Islam was and is a “malevolent manifestation of religion conceived in the pit of hell.” Evans equated Islam with the anti-Christ, against whom all Christians must fight with all the resources at their command.
Michael Evans is a widely acclaimed Christian Zionist spokesperson. He is not only a best-selling author; he as appeared on the BBC and US major television network shows and has published articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Jerusalem Post. He founded the Jerusalem Prayer team, which included at its inauguration other leading Christian Zionists, e.g. Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as well as United States Representative Dick Armey and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Evans received the Ambassador Award from the Israeli government and has been a confident and advisor to numerous Israeli Prime Ministers and mayors of Jerusalem. The jacket of Evans’ book, Beyond Iraq: The Next Move – Ancient Prophecy and Modern Day Conspiracy Collide contains a quotation from Benjamin Netanyahu praising him for having “consistently demonstrated the moral clarity that is necessary to defend Israel from the lies and distortions of its enemies.”
Many other major evangelical Christian Zionist leaders have echoed the themes expressed by Evans. They often have used the term “militant Islam” negatively to portray Islam in general. John Hagee, founder and past or the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, has repeatedly in speeches and in writing reiterated the alleged connections between ancient Babylon, Iraq and Islam. Hagee, who by the end of the 20th century, as previously stated, had become the most influential Christian Zionist leader, has, to date, consistently emphasized in his books, articles and radio and television interviews that Islam is an evil and dangerous religion and that militant Muslims are committed to wage holy war in the Middle East and throughout the world against non-Muslim enemies. The Muslim aim, according to Hagee, is to expand the Islamic religious-political empire to eliminate all enemies. Hagee has consistently maintained that the Islamic aim is to triumph over all religions. He continues to assert in writings and orally that the Koran mandates the killing of Christians and Jews. He has said this on National Public Radio and in numerous other broadcasts and speeches.
Hagee, in line with other Christian Zionist leaders, has severely and specifically criticized Islam, Muslims and Arabs for targeting and attacking Jews and Judaism. In his book, Beginning of the End (1996), Hagee typically asserted: “The conflict between the Arabs and Jews goes deeper than disputes over land. It is theological. It is Judaism verses Islam.” The origin for this conflict, according to Hagee, is the biblical rivalry between Isaac and Ishmael. This rivalry allegedly expanded to the point that militant Islamists hate and want to kill the Jewish people. Hagee considers Hamas and Iran the leaders in this attempt to kill the Jews, and sees a re-born Russia conspiring with Islam in a campaign against the state of Israel and the West. Hagee believes Christian Zionists are obligated to support and defend the state of Israel and Jews against the onslaught of Islam and the Muslims.
Again and again, Christian Zionists have maintained that the state of Israel stands as a Judeo-Christian fortress, surrounded by evil Muslim nation-states and threatened by Muslim terror. From the Christian Zionist perspective, Israel remains an important outpost of the West in the post-cold war struggle of civilizations. The antagonism towards Islam exploded after September 11, 2001. For evangelical Christians generally, the clash of civilizations was developing into a hot war. The role of Israel thus became more important in this developing war, and the Christian Zionist support for Israel increased and became more intense. Gary Bauer, a political activist who was formerly on President Ronald Reagan’s staff, is a Christian Zionist leader who considers himself a solder in the clash of civilizations. Bauer, has to date, consistently argued that the United States and Israel are “twin pillars of the West” and that any harm to Israel would be “a disaster for Western civilization.” Bauer has repeatedly asserted that the United States and Israel are under attack from the same enemy.
Numerous members of Congress, acknowledging their evangelical Christian Zionist beliefs, have emphasized as well the Islamic threat and the need of the United States to stand with its chose ally, the state of Israel, in opposing this threat. On July 23, 2003 the then house of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay, in his speech to an American Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) Leadership Summit, stated: “America’s victory in our war on terror relies on Israel’s victory in its war on terror. The common destiny of our two nations is not an artificial alliance dictated by our leaders, or a partisan political calculation. It is a heartfelt friendship between the citizens of two democracies at was, bound by the solidarity of freedom.”
After September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared, in discussing his war against terror, that Islam was “a peaceful religion” and that al-Qaeda did not represent Islam’s true nature or character. Many evangelical Christian Zionists were upset by the president’s remarks. Jerry Falwell, called Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, a terrorist. Jerry Vines, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Mohammad was “demon possessed”. Franklin Graham stated clearly and publicly on behalf of the numerous Christian Right leaders: “We’re not attacking Islam, but Islam has attacked us…I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion.”
Franklin Graham is the son of the famous evangelist preacher Billy Graham, who had converted George W. Bush to evangelical Christianity. Franklin Graham delivered the benediction at both the 1996 and 2000 Republican national conventions, gave the invocation at George W. Bush’s presidential inauguration and often was invited to lead prayers at the Pentagon. President Bush did disapprove of the Graham attack upon Islam, and White House press releases said the president viewed “Islam as a religion that preaches peace.” The president’s disapproval of Franklin Graham’s statements in turn antagonized many other Christians Zionists leaders. Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian coalition, the most important Christian Right organization in the United States in the 1990’s, took issue with the president’s description of Islam as being peaceful. Robertson specifically declared that Islam was not peaceful and that Muslims did not believe that Islam should co-exist with other religions. Islam, according to Robertson, sought ultimately “to control, dominate and then, if need be, to destroy.” Robertson’s view reflected the sentiments of numerous prominent Christian Zionist leaders from the 1990’s onward. Hal Lindsey often told audiences that he wished president George W. Bush, as a Bible-believing Christian, understood and realized that Islam without question was “violent to the core’ and must be opposed. The Reverend Rob Parsley repeatedly has told his 12,000 member congregation in Columbus, Ohio in sermons and thousands of others, who listen to his weekly radio show, that the United States should wage war against “evil Islam.” These are typical and representative Christian Zionist views. Many Christian Zionists believe Islam and Muslims should be obliterated. They sincerely believe that God wants this to be done.
As I conclude my remarks I would like to put on the hat of an activist and suggest for your consideration what could be done that might counter the threat, presented by Christian Zionism. Given the seriousness of this threat, I must admit that in a lighter and yet positive sense I am a bit amused when I think about a Jew, suggesting to an audience primarily of Muslims at an important Islamic institute how they should consider dealing with some Christians. Suffice it to say that this may constitute one aspect of inter-faith dialogue. At any rate, I want to emphasize that the first requirement in countering the threat is to acquire a sophisticated understanding of evangelical Christian Zionism. Secondly, the topic needs to be discussed in some depth in our society generally. Admittedly, it will be difficult to convince committed Christian Zionists to change their ideas. Those people believe they have the word of God; hence, they are not prone to be convinced otherwise by human beings. Discussing with the choir – so to speak – that is with Muslims and others who already are or would be opposed to evangelical Christian Zionism – is of some importance. Such discussion could deepen understanding and even provoke some creative countering ideas. Perhaps most importantly, discussing and conveying the threat of Christian Zionism to others in our American society, who are relatively unsophisticated about Christian Zionist ideology, about Islam and about the Zionism of the state of Israel’s character, could do some good. Pinpointing in such discussion the numerous violations of human rights of Palestinians by the state of Israel which are supported by evangelical Christian Zionists, would make the case moral, enticing and conceivably effective. Attempting to do this is at least worth a try.
Thank you so much for your attention.
Published on July 23, 2012 by RussiaToday. According to the recently published report by an Israeli judge, Israel is not occupying the Palestinian territories. Does this report have any basis in international law? Is the government simply preparing the legal ground to annex Area C of the West Bank? And how do these occupation-deniers explain their findings? CrossTalking with Susan Abulhawa, Itamar Marcus and Michael Omer-Man.
On July 23, 2012, Associated Press reported the results of the Burgas bomber autopsy; not for the first time in this affair, the findings didn’t fit the initial official declarations. Five days before, a suicide bomber attacked a bus transporting Israeli tourists at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria. The bus driver and five Israelis were killed; over thirty people were injured. Initial descriptions of the bomber claimed that the man had short dark hair and were accompanied by an unclear security camera’s image. Dr. Galina Mleva, a forensic expert who took part in autopsies on the victims and the attacker, told Bulgarian National TV that the bomber “had a white face, light eyes, and very thick brown hair.” Trying to find a way out of the embarrassment, the discrepancy is now explained by assuming the existence of an accomplice. Yet, Israel doesn’t care about the facts; Netanyahu is about to attack.
Bomber’s autopsy doesn’t fit official version of the event
Within hours of the violent event, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had blamed Iran and Hezbollah, justifying his brilliant conclusion on the fact that it had occurred on the anniversary of the 1994 AMIA bombing in Argentina, which was blamed by Netanyahu’s predecessors on Iran and Hezbollah. Now, we see that not only Netanyahu deductive powers are defective, but also that the evidence doesn’t follow the Israeli narrative. Supporting this, Bulgarian Foreign Minister said “We’re not pointing the finger in any direction until we know what happened and complete our investigation.” Obsessive in his attempts to incriminate Iran, Netanyahu has triggered a different event. In fact, recent declarations of Israeli officials can be considered as an Israeli declaration of war on Iran.
Odd as it may seem, Iran and Israel are technically at peace. Between 1948 and 1979, the two countries had close relations. Israeli Defense Minister General Ezer Weizmann and Iranian Vice-Minister of War General Hasan Toufanian discussed the co-production of Israel’s Jericho-2 missile, hinting that current Iranian developments may have a close relation to Israeli parallel weapons. After the Islamic Revolution, Israel supported Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, providing military help of up to $500 million annually. There are many testimonies of ongoing economic relations between the countries, “Treacherous Alliance – The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States,” by Dr. Trita Parsi provides good descriptions of how these complex deals work. Last year, Israeli company Ofer Brothers Group was subject to U.S. sanctions after it sold ships to Iran via a third party. Thus, despite the verbal animosity, it seems that businesses between the adversaries are good.
Notwithstanding the almost open commercial links between the countries, the political links couldn’t be worse. In May 2006, Israeli Vice-Premier Shimon Peres said Reuters “the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map.” This is a very disturbing statement coming from a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Israel wants economic relations with Iran, while keeping it militarily weak. Even without further development of their military strength, both countries could cause massive damage to each other in a blitzkrieg missile war. The declarations by Peres and other Israeli politicians and generals were always phrased in such a way that couldn’t be seen as a direct threat. Yet, following the Burgas bombing, Netanyahu crossed a red line.
Just after the event, Netanyahu blamed Iran, basing his delusional conclusion on the fact that it was the anniversary to the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, in 1994. Iran has never been properly proven as having perpetrated the first event; on the contrary, in 2005, a corrupt Argentinean government impeached Federal Judge Juan José Galeano—who was in charge of the case—due to serious irregularities in his investigation. Unluckily for Netanyahu, this type of logic doesn’t hold; many other events took place on this day, even more took place in other days. It means nothing. If anything, it hints at a false flag event trying to incriminate Iran. After this first fiasco, Netanyahu kept blaming Iran. On Sunday, he told Fox News that Iran and Hezbollah are behind the terror attack in Burgas. “This is based on rock solid intelligence and on its resemblance to other recent attempted attacks across the world, included one in Cyprus last week. It’s the same modus operandi,” he said. “It’s them and we know it,” he emphasized. This “rock solid” evidence is true only if the rocks are as solid as flimsy rubber. Again, if anything, we see here an attempt to incriminate Iran. Butchers all over the world use the same “modus operandi” when they cut meat, despite not knowing each other. If Netanyahu is serious in his claims, then he is completely illogical. The only fact is that Netanyahu didn’t provide any of his rock-solid proofs.
Even before his shallow, soft statements, Netanyahu committed a more serious error. During the press conference that he gave after the attack, he said “Israel would demand a heavy price from those who dispatched the terrorists. Israel would not be defeated.” “We’ll fight Iranian terror, we’ll fight it with great force,” he added. In order to make clear the position was shared by the government, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror and that Israel would respond “with force and precision against those who plan and execute such attacks.” “We have no intention to forgive and forget,” he said and included Hezbollah on the threat by adding: “Hezbollah knows that we don’t make empty threats.”
There are several ways of declaring a war, a topic that is regulated by the Hague Convention (III) of 1907 on the Opening of Hostilities. The most obvious one is by a speech or the issuing of a formal document. However, that seldom happens; most ongoing wars have never been formally declared. A well-known example is the German invasion of Belgium, which violated the abovementioned convention since it states that hostilities must not commence without explicit warning. This case is relevant here because what Netanyahu did in his speech was to deliver such a war warning justifying it on unproven claims. He had put Iran in a position to legitimately claim that Israel declared war on it and thus enabled it to take defensive measures. Self-defense from an external attack is a type of war allowed by the UN Charter. Mr. Netanyahu, this is the only “rock-solid” evidence in this case.
Burgas Bombing | Israeli False Flag?
Linguistic and Possibly Anti-Semitic Considerations…
Paul Eisen, elsewhere on deLiberation, objects to the use of such terms as zionists, anti-zionists, and anti-zionist-zionists (AZZs) on the grounds of their imprecision, seemingly confusing connotations, and their effect of simplified sloganeering. His arguments can be read here.
Gilad Atzmon objects to the use of the term “zionism” as applied to any current Jewish ideology because he considers it an anachronism, a term whose “sell by” date has expired once the original express goal of zionism — the creation of the state of Israel — has been attained.
Nevertheless he uses the term anti-zionist-zionist (AZZ) not by way of contradicting himself but as an ironic denial of the claim of today’s “anti-zionist” Jews, who are the exponents of Jewish power and act in ways meant to appear adverse to the state in Israel as long as their actions are not seriously threatening it.
It is understood by those who have read Gilad Atzmon that AZZs represent the “greening” (not Gilad’s term but mine) of the Palestinian movement by the Jews who freely state that their presence in the leadership of the movement is essential to “kosherize” it, i.e., the defend it from accusations of anti-semitism.
The dispute over the appropriateness and accuracy of the term anti-zionism resembles to some extent that over the term anti-semitism, whose critics object that
- the Ashkenazim are not Semites and/or
- that the term never extends to signifying animosity against Semites like the Arabs.
I have forgotten most of what I once learned in linguistics, but clearly remember this: nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, decides the ultimate fate of a word in any language, except usage.
Linguists, historians, or etymologists can write more books than you can shake a pencil at and pull their hair out by the roots, they may implore, beg, threaten, ridicule, all to no avail. They cannot stop a word from being consecrated into misuse or altered usage by the unshod and underschooled majority of users.
Who uses nowadays the word “cynic” in its original meaning? How would the Epicureans feel about their philosophy having been debased to mean more or less the life-style of people inclined to gorge themselves? I guess hoi polloi has not been tread heavily enough and, through misuse, is still hovering in between two complete opposites. It would not be surprising at all to see it stabilize in English in the wrong meaning, contrary to the original one, simply because “hoy” sounds similar enough to the English “high.”
“Zionist” may have denoted at one time to the whole world a person supporting the creation of the state of Israel. It may still mean that and only that to Israelites of Gilad’s generation and younger.
Nevertheless the rest of the world is still made up mostly of Goyim due to the inability of the laudably fertile orthodox Jews in settlements to overcome the huge headstart of the Chinese and Indians. For them, by observing the usage, a zionist is a supporter of Jewish power and/or of the state of Israel (too bad for the AZZs, they get no breaks). Why is that?
Perhaps it is because the general sense of most people is that the self-declared anti-Jewish power zionists and the anti-Israel Jewish power-friendly Jews are both either hypocrites or supporters of one, the other or both in effect if not necessarily by conscious intention, their seemingly judicious and objective criticism of either notwithstanding.
To the majority of speakers who use the terms zionist or AZZ, Israel and jewish power are in final analysis inseparable.
The rejection of such terms, which Paul calls “labels,” or their acronyms, would be reasonable, paradoxically, only if the analysis and deliberation he proposes instead would in the end result in new terms, labels and acronyms.
Unfortunately language is like that: it demands names for the objects signified. In my garden I don’t have a deciduous, sometimes semi-deciduous member of the Ulm genus found in temperate and occasionally tropical mountainous regions that may or may not harbor acomycete microfungi that will eventually kill it. I just have a bloody elm.
Perhaps soon “zionist” will come to be an even more comprehensive term, signifying a supporter of any aspect of jewish political culture considered nefarious by the Goyim. Israel seems to make efforts to expand the term in that direction.
Perhaps it will come to mean “any Jews except those I know personally and can vouch for and not further than I can throw them.” Jews in the US, UK and western Europe act as if they, too, would like the connotation of the term maximally expanded.
Conversely, perhaps the Jews, the smartest people in the world by their own reckoning, and the heads of almost all Ethics departments in American academia, will rise up (make that soon, please) and accomplish a revolution in Jewish culture of such magnitude as to change the dictionary (and popular) definition of the word zionist. It may be: “a Jewish exponent of the movement of humanist ethics and universalism at the beginning of the 21st century.” Inshallah!
Asked whether the estimated 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar are considered Myanmar nationals, Nobel Peace laureate and parliamentary candidate Aung San Suu Kyi replied, “I do not know. We have to be very clear about what the laws of citizenship are and who are entitled to them.”
In an effort to provide such clarity, this reporter met with a Myanmar Interior Ministry official to get some answers:
BW: In most countries, persons born in country to parents who have no known ancestry elsewhere are considered citizens. How is this applied in the case of the Rohingya?
IM: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to explain. We call them “resident foreigners”. After trying for many years to show that they are really from neighboring countries, we finally have decided that they are most likely Swiss nationals that came to Myanmar and lost their passports. Unfortunately, their birth records appear to have been lost in an avalanche in Switzerland and so we cannot prove their origin. However, we are negotiating with Switzerland to repatriate them.
BW: Are there possibly other reasons that you hesitate to grant citizenship to Rohingyas?
IM: In many countries, illegal immigrants often work for slave wages and are treated like animals. Rohingyas are often enslaved in Myanmar, and forced to live in the most deplorable conditions. We therefore suspect that they may be illegal immigrants.
BW: Illegal immigrants from where? Where do they belong?
The Rohingya Muslims are a demographic bomb for Myanmar. We want to remain Buddhist and democratic…
IM: I told you. They’re Swiss. And besides, they’re Muslim. The Rohingya Muslims are a demographic bomb for Myanmar. We want to remain Buddhist and democratic, and Muslim Rohingyas are a threat to our existence. Muslim self-determination has been expressed in dozens of countries. Why don’t the Muslim countries take them? They don’t belong here.
BW: But won’t you be accused of apartheid if you deny them citizenship on the basis of their ethnicity and religion?
IM: We’re not worried. Israel gets accused of the same, and how seriously does anyone take such accusations?
BW: But isn’t it more than that? Aren’t Rohingya homes and villages being demolished and the people being slaughtered and made refugees?
IM: Like I said, Israel…
BW: OK, OK. But Aung San Suu Kyi didn’t say for sure that Rohingyas are not entitled to Myanmar citizenship, only that we have to be clear about it. Isn’t she leaving open the possibility that they should be considered Myanmar citizens?
IM: Ms. Suu Kyi is a very rare creature: a politician with a humanitarian reputation and even a Nobel Peace Prize. She has to equivocate on Rohingyan rights. However, we are confident that just like Nobel laureates Shimon Peres and Barack Obama, she will do the right thing and overlook injustice toward undesirable populations.
In a comment to Who_Me, one of our commentators, I mentioned that I found Gilad’s “Anti-Zionist Zionist” a ‘poor description’. Who_Me. asked me to elaborate – so here goes:
First, the term ignores an important distinction between the relatively recent (but ongoing) crime of Jewish supremacism in stealing Palestine from the Palestinians and other, older examples of Jewish abuse of non-Jews. The most noticeable of these is the Jewish role in the crimes of Bolshevism against the Russian and other Eastern European peoples and the horrific (and also ongoing) crimes against the German people. Zionism, as I understand the term, refers to Jewish notions of political nationhood and the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Neither the crime against the Russians nor the crime against the Germans were specifically crimes of Zionism.
I also think the term is inaccurate. I’ve met loads of Jewish Marxists who claim to be anti-Zionists (In fact few non-Jewish anti-Zionists can match the bile with which these Jews express themselves on the subject) and as far as I can see, they are indeed what they claim to be – they really do hate Israel and Zionism. The fact that this is an essentially family squabble about which group of Jews will lead the Jewish supremacist movement is immaterial – the anti-Zionist Jews really are anti-Zionist.
Who-Me doesn’t agree and, in a previous exchange, offered some very well-chosen examples of how Jewish anti-Zionists will adopt positions that end up protecting Israel. Of course he’s right and he gave the example of how Jewish anti-Zionists will violently object to any notions of American foreign policy being dictated by the Jewish lobby. These anti-Zionist Jews insist that American foreign policy is just part of general, all-round American imperialism.
But this is not protecting Israel or Zionism – it is protecting Jewish power from proper scrutiny – the fact that Israel may benefit from it is just collateral damage – a price that has to be paid to secure their own brand of Jewish supremacism. Sure, on this occasion they’re acting like Zionists but to use this to designate them as Zionists seems to me to be confusing.
Of course, it could be argued that unconsciously these anti-Zionist Zionists really DO want to protect Israel because, although they may not much like it, Israel is still a Jewish endeavour and therefore must be protected. I would be the last to argue against the power of unconscious motivations and there is something in this point. But the term as it stands, with its complete lack of accompanying analysis in our debates – serves only to mislead. The same goes for the notion that in the term ‘anti-Zionist Zionist’ the word ‘Zionist’ is used as an all-round word for Jewish supremacism much as Lenin used it when he described the Bund (The AZZs of his time) as “Zionists with sea-sickness”.
And this brings me onto my second reason why I dislike the term
It, and its even worse abbreviation of ‘AZZs’, is just one more slogan. It joins ‘one-state’, ‘two state’, ‘Free free Palestine’, and the ever-ghastly Zio-this and Zio-that as just something to chant at demonstrations and spatter the comments columns of internet journals. True, they’re easy to write and even easier to chant but, in the absence of any proper and accompanying analysis, what do they really mean? And how do they advance the debate?
deLiberation is just what it says: a place for measured (not compromised) thought, reflection, discussion and argument.
We need properly developed ideas – not soundbites.